Parents’ animated film warns families of child sexual exploitation risks
Parents in Camden have helped to script, edit and produce a short animated film warning other families of the dangers of child sexual exploitation.
Members of Camden Parent Council also voiced the animated characters in the two and a half minute film, called What All Parents Should Know, funded and supported by Camden Council as part of an ongoing borough-wide campaign to prevent child sexual exploitation.
The film tells the story of a teenage girl who becomes involved in an unhealthy relationship with a boy at her school who has older friends. The teenager starts cutting herself off from her friends and family, who become worried about her safety and wellbeing.
Child sexual exploitation can take many forms:
- By another young person with whom they have a relationship and who then coerces them into sexual activity with their friends. This can happen within gangs, where a victim is groomed into a relationship then abused by other gang members. This ‘peer on peer’ abuse is the subject of the short film by Camden Parent Council.
- Inappropriate relationships, where a young person is targeted by an older abuser who exploits them by using power and control.
- Organised networks and trafficking by ‘rings’ and other criminal networks.
- Online exploitation, where the young person shares sexual images or videos or is coerced into carrying out sexual acts via web-cam.
Camden Parent Council has previously helped raise awareness about this often ‘hidden’ issue by running a drama workshop for parents called ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ and producing a high-profile poster campaign on buses and in local tube stations. Ofsted inspectors have praised the parents’ work in Camden in a recent report on child sexual exploitation, citing it as ‘good practice’.
“The Parent Council has done some wonderful work on this issue, which has helped to keep Camden parents well-informed about how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation. I am so pleased that this campaign, which has really impressed Ofsted inspectors, is now continuing with the release of the excellent animated film, What All Parents Should Know.”
The new animated film, What All Parents Should Know, was officially launched on 29 September at an event in Camden attended by senior staff from the Council, Camden Safeguarding Children Board, the NSPCC and Barnardo’s, as well as members of Camden Parent Council who worked on the film, Councillor Mason and the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Larraine Revah.
Dominic Clout, the independent chair of Camden Safeguarding Children Board, said: “This is the second phase of a really successful and nationally-recognised campaign by the Parent Council. Their film highlights the importance of us all paying attention to how children and young people are behaving, listening to what they are telling us and of parents never closing the door on their children.”
Where residents think that child sexual exploitation is happening they can call the Police 101 number and quote ‘Camden Makesafe’ to report their concerns, or call 999 if they think a child or young person is in immediate danger.
You can also report concerns about a child to the Council’s multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) on 020 7974 3317 (or 020 7974 4444 out of hours).