Child sexual exploitation and abuse in BME communities

Zlakha Ahmed of Apna Haq spoke on this issue at the NEEVAWG Network meeting last week. Apna Haq is based in Rotherham and has been working on issues of violence and abuse in Asian Communities for over twenty years. Zlakha talked about the invisibility of Asian children and young people in the media and in the public conversation around child sexual exploitation.

Independent Inquiry into Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham

An estimate that 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 is among the key findings of this independent report by Professor Alexis Jay into the handling of child sexual exploitation by social services and police in the South Yorkshire town. She finds there were systemic failures in the agencies responses and makes a series of recommendations.

Unheard voices: Sexual exploitation of Asian girls and young women

Muslim Women's Network UK conducted research into the hidden experiences of Asian / Muslim girls and young women so that everyone can better understand how to support and protect them.  A total of 35 case studies were collected.  The report highlights:

Profile of Victims

Profile of Offenders

Nature of the Exploitation

Barriers to Disclosure and Reporting

Factors Driving Sexually Abusive Behaviour

Family and Community Responses

Frontline Professional and Service Provider Responses

Update from Comic Relief

Paul Woodhead, Comic Relief's North East contact, spoke at the NEEVAWG Network Meeting last week. He explained that empowering women and girls remains a priority for the funder and addressing all forms violence against women and girls is a key element within that. Comic Relief is changing the way it makes grants - moving to shorter, more focused programmes that are only available for a limited amount of time e.g. the girls and gangs programme, which was available earlier this year.

Acorns needs you!

Acorns is a unique and well-respected charity working in North Tyneside, helping children and young people recover from the impact of domestic and sexual violence and abuse. Acorns is seeking new Trustees to help with the running of the organisation which is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. For further information please email or ring 0191 200 6302 to speak to the Manager, Cath Lawson.

Northumbria Police Domestic Homicide Problem Profile November 2015

Northumbria Police has agreed to share this redacted version of its problem profile looking at 24 domestic homicides in a 54 month period. The profile identifies 15 female and 9 male victims, the majority (36%) of whom were aged 41-50, with a further 27% aged 65 or over. Of the 21 male and 5 female suspects, 16 were partners or spouses, three were identofied as ex-partners and four were the children of the victim. Financial problems were identified as a significant pre-cursor.

United Nations committee finds UK women still can't access justice

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Commission has published its findings after reviewing the UK Government’s submission on the impact of legal aid cuts on women affected by violence. The Committee finds some improvements but "notes the persistence of serious obstacles that still hamper effective access to justice by all women.".

The Committee recommends that, in its next periodic report due in July 2017, the Government provides information on further actions taken to: 

New child support system unsafe for survivors

Women's Aid and Gingerbread have joined together to warn that the Government’s new system for allocating child support is putting survivors of domestic abuse at rissk. In an article in the Independent the charities said the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) was both not safe for survivors of domestic abuse and could also see them missing out on payments they were entitled to. The CMS began to replace the Child Support Agency in 2012 but the charities say that serious problems have begun to emerge since it was set up, leaving it “not fit for purpose.

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