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Publication date:- 2017-05-19

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 5.

'Three Girls' - Unless we learn the lessons, the exploitation and abuse will only continue

"VIEWERS have quite understandably been shocked by the 1st episode of the 3 part BBC real life drama Three Girls about the horrific abuse suffered by vulnerable children and young people in Rochdale. But unless we take the lessons to heart the exploitation and abuse will only continue..." says national charity:- "Family Education Trust."

What happened in Rochdale was not unique. Over the past 5 years, serious case reviews have reported on child sexual exploitation perpetrated against vulnerable young women in regions as far apart as Torbay, Liverpool, Thurrock, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Bristol. In addition, in 2014 Professor Alexis Jay published the findings of her independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 to 2013.

Family Education Trust director, Norman Wells, whose review of these reports was published last week observed:- "All 8 reports tell the same story - underage sex was viewed as a normal part of growing up and relatively harmless provided it was consensual. Again and again it was assumed that the girls were making 'lifestyle choices.' There was a readiness among professionals to routinely provide contraception in confidence, without considering the possibility that the young people may be suffering abuse. The reports in Rochdale and the other regions reveal an inclination to treat children under the age of 16 as adults with the competence to make their own decisions with regard to sexual activity and a tendency to dismiss the concerns of their parents out of hand."

One of the 2 Rochdale serious case reviews notes that it was:- "absolutely clear that the problems were much more deep rooted than can be explained as failings at an individual level." There were "widely held and deep rooted attitudes" on the part of professionals whose assumption that the teenagers were making meaningful choices about how they lived their lives was "fundamentally misconceived."

Norman Wells commented:- "The underlying problems are social, cultural and moral. It is time to grasp the nettle and get to the root of the crisis. A review of professional attitudes towards underage sexual activity is long overdue. We also need an investigation into the unintended consequences of teenage pregnancy strategies which have a focus on sex education and the confidential provision of contraception, abortion and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. If we continue to turn a blind eye to the root causes of the current malaise, we can expect to see yet more horrific cases of child sexual exploitation."

"Unprotected; How the normalisation of underage sex is exposing children and young people to the risk of sexual exploitation" by Norman Wells was published by Family Education Trust, on 8 May 2017, 152pp, ISBN:- 978-0-906229-24-8, ₤7.50.

ITV4 is looking for the most 'fugly' fabulously ugly pets!

UK based TV group Spun Gold TV are 1 of the UK's top BAFTA Award winning TV companies, producing for BBC, ITV, C4, SKY and Channel Five. The have been in contact with us to see if our readers can help them, as the film a new show about how the nation celebrates unconventional looking pets bring joy and personality to families across Britain.  "We are currently producing a brand new, prime time entertainment documentary for ITV. It is a fun loving, warm-hearted documentary about how the world's pet owners love their animals, no matter what they look like. Caroline Quentin, who is best known from:- 'Men Behaving Badly' and 'Jonathan Creek fame' will be touring Britain to find the nation's most 'fugly' fabulously ugly pets! We are currently searching for pets in the Liverpool, Merseyside area…" said Martin, from Spun Gold TV. To apply email the program's production team, via:- Pets@SpunGoldTV.Com. So if you have a cat that has a face that saes kids, a creepy Lizard, a bald Ferret, or any other fabulously ugly pet, let them know!

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