For this episode Lala was joined Robin and Claire, two ex child abuse investigation detectives who are experts in the field of child safeguarding to discuss child sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Robin Watts is a specialist trainer and you can hire him to deliver training to your organisation www.rawtrainingltd.com
This podcast will give you the tools to understand how to protect your own children and children around you. I just listened back to it and I thought that there were a few bits that we missed out so I wanted to add them here.
If you suspect that a child has been the victim of sexual abuse do not ask leading questions. If it's proven that you asked leading questions it can impact the outcome in court. So don't ask "Did Daddy touch you?" ask "Can you tell me what happened with Daddy?"
Have professional curiosity. If your gut tells you that something is wrong then hang on to that. Keep that child on your radar. Talk to other professionals in that child's life. Try to connect the dots. If a child is acting out and behaving in ways that make you dislike them then make an even bigger commitment to show up for that child.
Sometimes victims become abusers, but that doesn't take away from their abuse. For example, sometimes gangs do 'line ups' where they will have one girl in a room who has to have sex with a line of boys. We might look at all of those boys as abusers, but a 13 year old boy who is forced to lose his 'virginity' in this way in a room full of his friends is also experiencing trauma. Sometimes female victims of CSE recruit friends for abuse, again, we need to see the bigger picture. They are all victims.
When talking to victims of CSE we need to be careful about the language we use about the perpetrator. Calling him a disgusting piece of shit and saying he doesn't love you might be true, but the child has been groomed and feels loved. It might make them feel more defensive and less likely to listen.
If you are a health care professional look for signs such as frequent hospital attendances. Ensure that you speak to the patient alone, if their boyfriend/girlfriend/alleged relative is always with them, then find a way to see them alone.
If you need to report then contact the police or the children's service based in the area where the child lives. Google the child's local authority. Even if you don't have a lot of evidence it is still worth having a chat with a social worker. You can report anonymously to NSPCC too.