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Turning It Around: What Do Young Women Say Helps Them To Move On From Child Sexual Exploitation?

Research paper by Philip Gilligan

Indexed on: 14 Mar '16Published on: 02 Mar '15Published in: Child Abuse Review



Abstract

Twenty‐four young women and one young man, aged between 13 and 23 years, who are current or former service users of two voluntary‐sector projects specialising in services for young people and who have been or are at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE), shared their views about what had helped and what will help them to move on from CSE. They were accessed via the projects and invited to choose how they gave their views, which ultimately they did through combinations of semi‐structured interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires, artwork and poetry. Their views are summarised in the context of other relevant literature. The findings emphasise that: these young people have important things to say about what will help them; they need workers who are friendly, flexible, persevering, reliable and non‐judgemental; they need information, advice, safe places, enrichment experiences and services which are available during evenings and at weekends; and they are unlikely to engage positively with statutory services (police and children's social care) unless those services convince them more effectively that they will listen to, protect and respect them. Their pain, resilience and anger are illustrated. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.‘These young people have important things to say about what will help them’Young women affected by CSE: ‘[They] need workers who are friendly, flexible, persevering, reliable and non‐judgemental’