March 18th was a day to unite the world in a bid against Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The National Working Group (NWG), a UK network of over 14,500 professionals all tackling the issue of CSE and human trafficking, started the National (CSE) Awareness Raising Day to encourage everyone to speak out against abuse.
PhotoVoice has been working with NWG to support the future safeguarding of young people affected by or at risk of sexual exploitation. Through our participatory photography workshops young people reflected on and made sense of their experiences of CSE. Their work has fed into a resource to be used by service providers and professionals.
The resource pack is designed for professionals working directly with young people and addresses key themes drawn from the 2009 UK government framework ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’.
Small, compact and a special colour coding system, mean that the resource is easy to use and transportable. Seventeen activity cards inspired by the participant’s digital stories, aim to encourage group and 1:1 discussion and refection on relationships, gender, vulnerabilities, emotions and abuse. The pack also includes Identifying Vulnerabilities cards which encourage participants to consider some of the important topics brought up by the young people in their digital stories including, neglect, mental health and abuse.
The free resource has been sent to professionals across the country and we are beginning to receive feedback.
One professional wrote:
“It has promoted discussion with young people around their own vulnerabilities and experiences and has helped to equip them with creative ways of expressing themselves.”
“It opened up more options for interactive key-work and allowed a setting for group discussions which I have not completed before. I feel confident completing group key-work when provided with the resources.”
Recognising the CSE awareness raising day, we would like to encourage service providers and professionals to order a copy of the free resource here. Let’s work together to prevent this form of child sexual abuse.
If you are worried about a young person please click the link below to find useful phone numbers and websites.