11 Nov 2015

A shocking video exposing the brutal realities of child sexual exploitation is being launched by The Children’s Society on Wednesday, 11 November. 

The Children’s Society, one of the UK’s leading children’s charities, teamed up with communications agency VCCPme, to draw attention to the horrific crime of child sexual exploitation, which the police recognise as the greatest threat facing this country next to terrorism. 

The two-minute film revealing the ‘growing pains’ and impact of sexual abuse on children will be launched online. This follows the kick-off of The Children’s Society’s fully integrated direct response campaign on 5 November with a direct mail in the form of a full-size wall chart. 

Synonymous with tracking the significant milestones of childhood, the video features the familiar chart of childhood marked on the walls in so many homes. It starts with innocent moments such as being tall enough to ride the roller-coaster. But as the camera pans up the chart, the recorded events begin to take a more sinister turn: 'I met their friends. They drink a lot'; 'I don’t like where they touch me'; 'Abused by all of them tonight. I blacked out.'

Thousands of children and young people are sexually exploited up and down the country every year — although the precise number is not known. 

As The Children’s Society’s new report Old Enough To Know Better? Why sexually exploited teenagers are being overlooked reveals, huge numbers of sex crimes against older teenagers in England and Wales in the last year went unreported and unpunished because many victims were gripped by the fear of not being believed and suspicion of the justice system. 

Emmy Award winning ‘Luther’ director Sam Miller directed the short film, compellingly revealing that child sexual exploitation can take place in the most mundane settings of an average home to a child in an average family.

'People think the dramas I work on feel pretty real and authentic-well this story is chillingly real. I wanted to be part of this project to show people what this horrific crime against children is really about and for them to know that they can do something to help these children,' Sam Miller said.

'VCCPme has made a powerful video helping us bring this urgent issue to the screen. This video is vital to our being able to draw attention to the what child sexual exploitation really is and raise the crucial funds we need to make sure we can help these children and keep more safe from being sexually exploited in the first place,' Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society said.

'Learning about the incredibly important work that The Children’s Society do has been both humbling and deeply upsetting. The work we have produced is reflective of the shocking truth of the situation for far too many vulnerable children in the UK right now, and we are proud at VCCPme to have helped in any way we can to highlight this shocking situation,' Sophie Maunder-Allan, CEO of VCCPme said.

The two-minute video is available on The Children’s Society website. It is part of the charity’s Seriously Awkward campaign which is calling on the Government to make sure that police have the means they need to protect 16 and 17 year olds from sexual exploitation, and that consent to take drugs and drink alcohol is never confused with consent to engage in sexual acts.

Media enquiries

For more information, please contact The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422, 07775 812 357 or email beth.herzfeld@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

or

Hope Abel, Group Marketing Manager at VCCP, on habel@vccp.com or on 07525 900 204.

Notes to editors

  • The two-minute video is available on The Children’s Society website.
  • The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. We also campaign for changes to laws affecting children and young people, to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future. Our supporters around the country fund our services and join our campaigns to show children and young people they are on their side.
  • VCCP is an international integrated communications agency, founded in 2002 on the principles of simplicity, collaboration, un-preciousness and integration around ideas rather than channels. With offices in Berlin, London, Madrid, Prague and Sydney, VCCP produces award-winning work for clients including O2, comparethemarket.com, easyJet, ING Direct and BMW Motorrad.