17 Oct 2013

A charity that supports victims of child sexual exploitation has welcomed new guidance on prosecuting child sexual abuse. Commenting on new guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'As a charity that supports the victims of child sexual exploitation, we very warmly welcome this guidance. But there is still a long way to go, including addressing the attitudes that mean these cases are not picked up in the first place.

'It is incredibly hard for these children to speak out; they’re trapped in exploitative relationships or controlled with threats of violence. And yet they often tell us that they feel let down when they do find the courage to speak out; they are not believed or not supported. 

Keep children safe

'The commitment to better support for victims throughout the court process and afterwards, and an emphasis on the credibility of the allegation - not the victim – should go a long way to addressing this. It will help disrupt abuse, bring offenders to justice and will ultimately help keep children safe. 

'It is a serious problem if prosecutors and police not only don’t recognise the signs of abuse, but instead mistake these for reasons to discredit victims. As we said in our evidence to this consultation, these myths need to be challenged and victim blaming must stop.

'We commend the Crown Prosecution Service for tackling this problem head on, and this guidance must now be put into practice and urgently.'

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Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.