Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Children need greater protection

From YoungMinds

Children need greater protection from child sexual exploitation.  So says Clare Jerrom on 26 November 2013. 
Children are still falling prey to sexual predators despite the heightened awareness around child sexual exploitation, a report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner has found.
Serious gaps remain in the knowledge, practice and services required to tackle this problem and more needs to be done to prevent thousands more children slipping through the net and falling victim to sexual predators.
“Child sexual exploitation is fundamentally a child protection issue. In the course of the Inquiry, we heard from the police about victims of sexual exploitation who have disappeared and whose bodies have never been recovered. The failure of services to protect them from harm reflects that of hundreds of other children and young people who have suffered abuse,” said Sue Berelowitz, deputy Children’s Commissioner for England.
Phase 1 of the Inquiry into child sexual exploitation found that a total of 2,409 children were known to be victims by gangs and groups. In addition the Inquiry identified 16,500 children and young people as being at risk of exploitation. Many of the known victims had been badly let down by those agencies and services that should have been protecting them.
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has produced See Me, Hear Me: a new evidence-based Framework for protecting children and young people from sexual exploitation.
Director of Media and Campaigns at YoungMinds Lucie Russell adds her own comments:
"This is a truly shocking report that highlights that there isn’t a place across Britain where young people aren’t being sexually exploited. We have had enough wake up calls and alarm bell moments, we need action now to help those who are getting drawn into this viscous circle of sexual abuse. We live in an age now where the merging of sex and coercion has become normalized and this is because society has become so sexualized.
Why does she say that the merging of sex and coercion has become normalized? For who? Is she aware that children are being sexualised in schools from aged five by way of explicit sex education? Is she aware of the guidelines coming from the United Nations (UNESCO) which is pushing this agenda across Europe?  Never mind the video games and the ever more violent and explicit material put out on television. Has YoungMinds nothing to say about how all this is working on the minds of young people?

She goes on:
We must do all we can to mitigate against this, to build the resilience of some of the most vulnerable young people in our society who get caught up in this abuse and ensure all children and young people learn to respect and look out for one another and have caring adults to turn to when they feel victimized and afraid," concluded Ms Russell.
How about going after the perpetrators of child abuse instead?  How about safeguarding children? But then, that has always been part of the problem as this post from the Cathyfox blog illustrates:
The CHILE 4th Report (CHildren In Lambeth Enquiry) was slick and seemed to give the impression that any problem with sexual abuse in Lambeth was investigated, sorted and finished [2]. That is, even 20 years later, far from the case... 
 This was a joint investigation into abuse, and not a review, between Lambeth Council and the Met Police but where is the councils response? Where is the information? the explanation? the apology? Why is this information not public, why do child abuse campaigners have to chase up a council, supposedly elected by the people for the people, for scraps of information? Where are the years and years of internal investigations and internal reports, and commissioned external reports before this joint investigation with the Metropolitan Police? It is not on the Lambeth website only one search item comes up under child sexual abuse... 
It appears that things are not quite right. There are a lot of loose ends in Lambeth. 20 childrens homes[4] run by Lambeth were being investigated in 2000 by Operation Middleton. [1] Where is all the information that should be given to the public about this? Let it all be released by the Council for the publics and the childrens benefit. 
20 childrens homes- this seems evidence of endemic council failure; 49 victims. What? Only 49 victims from at least 20 homes and at least 19 perpetrators? This does not add up; 16 perpetrators dead before Court out of 19? When was this abuse? Why so many perpetrators dead?
The Guardian reported in 2000[4] that the Inquiry, which centred on Lambeth council’s social services department, led to seven arrests and the suspension of 10 staff employed by the borough . What happened to these staff? 
Incredibly back in 1986 John Carroll, Head of the Childrens Home was allowed to keep his job when the Council became aware that he had failed to declare a sex offence on a 13 year old boy. [17] Negligence?
After more input Cathyfox goes on:  
A good summary of what is happening in Britain was written by the excellent Christian Wolmar. [34] Another excellent writer who exposed child sexual abuse at the time was Nick Davies [35] My respect to both of them for their true journalism and bravery in the face of corruption. From Kincora in Northern Ireland to Bryn Alyn in Wales, Dunblane in Scotland to Lambeth in England. This is the rabbit hole, the tip of the iceberg.  
To read the whole post:   by

"Child sexual exploitation is fundamentally a child protection issue," says Ms Berelowitz. It certainly is, and is it not revealing that neither she nor YoungMinds have anything significant to say about the widespread abuse of children in the care system, the endless inquirires, reports and cover-ups?

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