What is Child Sexual Exploitation?
It is defined as "a sort of sexual abuse in which minors are sexually exploited for money, power, or prestige" by the NSPCC.
Children and adolescents may be duped into believing they are in a loving, consensual relationship. They may be invited to parties and provided with drugs and drink. They might be groomed online as well.
Some children and teenagers are trafficked into or within the United Kingdom for sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also occur among gang members."
There have been multiple media controversies regarding sexual exploitation in various places around the UK, all of which exhibit several common themes:
- Children and teenagers are led to believe that another individual ("gang member") is a buddy.
- The children are vulnerable and susceptible to "grooming" by a more experienced and less naive adult.
- The youngsters are occasionally in care.
- The "gang member" posing as a friend entices them with alcohol and promises of love and affection.
- When a child is "hooked," the "friendship" becomes a pretext to exploit him or her.
- Over time, horrible crimes such as rape, forced sexual activities, assault, and threats of violence occur, typically while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Fear of the consequences prevents the children from escaping the gang's control.
- If the youngsters and their families dare to "inform," the gang threatens them and their families.
- Children frequently attempt to inform adults who are not only within but also outside of their households.
- Individuals who hear the concerns either do not believe them or act ineffectively due to ignorance or poor judgement.
- If the complaint reaches the police, in the past, a lack of ability on the part of the investigating authorities has resulted in no action or failed prosecution attempts.
- Even if a police investigation is successful, the gang will continue to employ strategies aimed to discredit the proposed case, such as
- Threatening witnesses
- Violent threats were made against the victims' relatives.
- Threats to the victims
- Threats based on certain Asian families' religious views regarding the ban of sex before marriage.
- In a multi-Defendant trial, the use of repetitive and extended cross examination by legal counsel employed by each gang member - a replication of the abuse itself in another form - is used to undermine the victim's will.
- Abuse invariably results in harm, which can be defined as sexual, emotional and physical..
The issues concerning police sexual exploitation stem from the requirement to undertake what may be defined as a "reverse of the regular ways of policing," in which the police usually respond to a complaint from a member of the public.
It is considered that police should not go out hunting for crimes proactively, but rather wait for crimes to come forward uninformed and unsolicited by the investigating authority.
Sexual exploitation, on the other hand, necessitates a proactive approach in order to be successfully prosecuted. Because of the nature of the threats and intimidation already stated, young witnesses will not come forward voluntarily.
The police force has sometimes given non-recent abuse a low priority, focusing on the character and temperament of the victim rather than the necessity to seek the cooperation of other witnesses.
Any victim of child sexual exploitation has rights, which we may assist them enforce in order to provide them with the justice they definitely deserve.