Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Fwd: Protect 16 and 17 year olds from Exploitation - New Report Launches Tomorrow

Dear Mr Jones, Tomorrow The Children's Society will be launching the next stage of our Seriously Awkward campaign with the publication of our report, Old enough to know better?, which looks at the hidden sexual abuse of 16 and 17 year olds across the country.

16 and 17 year olds are a group of young people who are at high risk of being victims of sexual crimes. Our analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales has identified that females aged 16 and 17 are at the highest risk of being a victim of a sexual crime – with nearly 1 in 10 (8.6 %) of them reporting that they have experienced a sexual offence in the last 12 months.

If these findings were reflected across the population this would equate to around 50,000 16 and 17 year old girls who had experienced a sexual offence in the last year in England and Wales.

This number is unacceptably high. We want this to be top of the agenda at Home Office questions in a couple of weeks (16th November) and wondered if you would consider balloting for a question. A suggested question would be:

What steps are in place to protect 16 and 17 year olds who are victims of child sexual exploitation?

The deadline for submission is the 10th November. If you are selected we will of course provide you with a speaking note and a possible supplementary question.

Also, I'd like to make you aware that some of your constituents may be in touch about this over the coming weeks and months as we engage our supporters in this important work. Between now and the new year we are planning on asking MPs to help us raise this issue in Parliament in a number of ways:

§ Asking a Home Office oral question
§ Help us secure a Westminster Hall Debate
§ Writing to the Home Secretary ahead of the Policing and Criminal Justice Bill to encourage protection for 16 and 17 year olds to feature in the Bill

You can find a parliamentary briefing here and if you have any questions about how you can support our work on this issue in Parliament then do get in touch.

Yours sincerely,
Lucy Capron
Lucy Capron
Public Affairs Manager
The Children's Society
t: 020 7841 4494
Edward Rudolf House
Margery Street
London WC1X 0JL


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