This charity was set up to support young people between the ages of 10 – 25 years old to prevent and protect young people from being criminally and sexually exploited.
There has been a massive increase in young people being criminally and sexually exploited in the local area. What makes it difficult for the police and social workers, is many of these young people are not aware initially of what they are getting themselves into and do not realise they are being groomed. When they eventually become aware of the dangers, they are either too scared or trapped to speak out, due to being intimidated and manipulated by these gangs. The hardest part for professionals, is trying to engage with these young people and this takes up a lot of time and resources to forge and build a trusting relationship, so they can be supported and kept safe and for the police to be able to prosecute the perpetrators. In extreme circumstances, young people have had to be moved away from the area and from their families, to ensure they are kept safe, which is very costly and also an added stress and upset to the young person, as they can no longer live with their families, even though they live in a loving and supported household.
More about our CEO Our CEO has immense knowledge around child exploitation from her role as a social worker and being the child exploitation lead in an area where she was employed by a local authority in the south west. She has attended numerous conferences in London and connected with leading agencies and similar charities and voluntary organisations who have extensive knowledge of gangs and child exploitation.
Following on from this, she carried out presentations to police officers across the UK on child sexual exploitation and the psychological and emotional impact this has on victims. She received excellent feedback and her talks resulted in major changes in some police forces in the UK, specifically in relation to victim care and support. Furthermore, she carried out some work with the Detective Chief Inspector who led the second Rochdale Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) police investigation. Together they delivered a presentation to the Child Protection police force in Scotland, including the Chief Constable. She received excellent feedback from police officers and it inspired police officers to change their approach and response towards CSE victims.
She carried out a presentation at the Police annual ACPO conference. From the conference, she was asked to meet with the Head of England's Chief Constables and the deputy head of CEOP. She discussed with them about the improvements that could be made in regards to victim care during court proceedings. This meeting resulted in some changes to the court proceedings.
She also used her experience and knowledge of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and criminal and child exploitation in her role as a social worker. She regularly provided advice and support to her colleagues and signposted them to appropriate resources. She has also advised them on how to approach CSE and criminal exploitation victims and how to support them in opening up and talking about their experiences. She has worked on cases, supporting the challenges around children and young people who were entrenched in criminal and sexual exploitation.
Through her work as a social worker, she has worked closely with police officers and has carried out joint visits to victims of CSE and criminal exploitation. She has worked closely with these victims, building up a trust and ensuring they feel safe to open up and talk about their experiences and this has resulted in them agreeing to talk to police officers. She has also provided advice and support for social workers who were dealing with high risk CSE and child exploitation victims, helping put together support packages and safety plans to ensure children can remain safe within their families and communities.
We have three Trustees all with individual and extensive experience and a team of consultants and volunteers who are part of the charity Escapeline. Escapeline also works closely with schools, police, local authority, health and other local voluntary organisations.