What you’ve helped us achieve so far, and what comes next
In June 2015 we launched our Seriously Awkward campaign to improve the lives of 16-17 year olds. Adolescence is a period of greater vulnerability and for those with earlier experiences of abuse, trauma and neglect, this awkward age can have serious consequences.
With thousands of campaigners help, we have been calling on the Government to:
- Give police more powers to intervene early to stop sexual exploitation of vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds before it happens
- Ensure children who have been sexually abused get better access to mental health support, so they get the help they need early, before reaching crisis.
Since June last year, over 20,000 people have helped us push the Government to do more and contacted 97% of MPs. You can read some of the views of these campaigners in our response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights here.
And as a result:
This Autumn, the Government has agreed to set up a working group to look at the particular challenge of better protecting 16 and 17 year olds from abuse.
As our research has shown, 16 and 17 year olds are more likely to be recorded as ‘children in need’ because of abuse and neglect than any other age group. However, they currently do not get the same level of legal protection as younger children. We believe this is a clear breach of their rights.
The Government have now announced that they have set up a working group to look at how police can better intervene to disrupt the sexual exploitation of 16 and 17 year olds. We are playing a key part in the working group to ensure that police get the tools they need to tackle child sexual exploitation.
We’ll keep you up to date with how the working group is progressing. However, giving the police powers to intervene was only one of the issues we were tackling. We’re still calling on the Government to give victims of child sexual exploitation access to mental health support.
Please sign up today and help us campaign to ensure victims of sexual exploitation are properly assessed and given the therapeutic support they need to recover.