York academic helps young people cope with child sexual exploitation
University of York academic Dr. Kate Brown has collaborated with the charity Basis Yorkshire to help people recover from experiencing child sexual exploitation (CSE). Breaking Through: Moving on from child exploitation incorporates booklets and an animation which have been co-produced by young people who have suffered from CSE.
The animation aims to provide advice and real stories to policy makers, practitioners and the public, particularly young people. It features the experiences of individuals who have been victims of CSE. It highlights how CSE happens to people of all social backgrounds, affecting both genders, not just girls, as many believe. It also identifies how some people may be particularly vulnerable due to their upbringing. These influential factors may be anything from the individual’s access to money, their education or whether they have had any involvement in the welfare system, including any interventions from services and professionals.
Dr. Kate Brown, the Chair of Basis Yorkshire and a leading lecturer in York’s Social Policy and Social Work Department, said:
“Despite widespread concerns about CSE in the UK, the voices of those who have experienced this often get lost or overlooked in debates about how it should be addressed. We now understand more about how abuse happens, but we hear less about how young people manage to move on from it and what can best support this process. Breaking Through reveals the importance of understanding the diversity of experiences of CSE, but also how some young people are particularly affected… Each person recounts being seen as ‘troublesome’ in some way ─ often blamed for their situation. This underlines that we must reach those who might be considered ‘difficult’, as well as those seen as ‘easier’ to work with if responses to CSE are to be effective. All of the stories show how important it is for professionals to build trust with young people, and to take the time to listen and keep them informed. To support the ‘breaking through’ process, agencies need knowledge but also appropriate resources.”
The Chief Executive at Basis Yorkshire, Gemma Scire, said:
“We hope the resources will help young people, families, and professionals to understand the variety of ways in which young people experience CSE and move on from it…certain sections may be challenging to read, but we aim to help parents, practitioners and policy makers support young people in ways that best match the realities of CSE as told by those who know it best.”