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Spurgeons combats sexual exploitation of Birmingham’s vulnerable children
Children’s charity Spurgeons has been funding an ongoing community project across centres in Birmingham these past few weeks.
Led by manager Emma Danter, the Phoenix Project, as it is called, seeks to combat the social exploitation of vulnerable children and young people in their local areas.
The sessions, aimed towards community workers and families, expect to raise awareness of these dangers within local communities and offer systems of support to those affected by sexual abuse or violation.
This crackdown on child abuse comes following the release of an official study carried out by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England (OCCE).
Released in November 2012, the report claimed that thousands of children were found to be the victim of rape and sexual abuse all over the UK every year.
It was thought that special gangs would monitor and seek out potential victims in parks, schools and other open areas. Many of the children faced abuse and sexual violence in these family-friendly environments.
Female grooming and child pornography were also suggested to be a regular concern.
The report also announced that the consequences of such violent sexual acts held long-term damaging effects on its victims. Children could potentially suffer not only detrimental physical and emotional harm, but abuse could also lead to the development of mental illnesses, the acquiring of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and eventual abortions.
In addition, there was also a fear that those children who remained unsupported or who were too frightened to speak out could also develop drug and alcohol problems later on.
Speaking on the report, Deputy Children’s Commissioner Sue Berelowitz added, “The reality is that each year thousands of children in England are raped and abused by people seeking to humiliate, violate and control them. The impact on their lives is devastating.”
It is thought that by engaging communities into an informative discourse about the true dangers of sexual exploitation on the young, more could be done to protect vulnerable children and young people and prevent such heinous instances from occurring.
Spurgeons has long been supporting various community projects across Birmingham and the rest of the UK. Founded in 1867, the charity works alongside local authorities and their communities, churches and centres, and has been helping homeless children and adults as well as young people and families to develop safer and happier ways of living.
The Phoenix Project community sessions will continue throughout January in various centres across Birmingham.
Details of the dates, venues and free booking number can be found at BVSC website here.