Something isn't quite right with Eva

(1 Post)
orlaithpotter Wed 20-Apr-16 23:22:59

Something isn't quite right with Eva

Before the age of 10, Eva was rejected by her mother and sent to live with her father who abused her. Aged 13, she was befriended by a man seven years older than her. It’s an abusive relationship but Eva felt that he cared for her and called him her boyfriend.

At 15 she was taken into care, and due to violent behaviour her ‘boyfriend’ was put in prison. By 16, Eva’s placement in her children’s home broke down. She is moved to a new home where things start to settle down as her ‘boyfriend’ is in prison.

Eva is 17 when her ‘boyfriend’ is released from prison and she gets back together with him. Unfortunately because of her age, agencies have to treat this as domestic abuse rather than child sexual exploitation. She is left vulnerable and unprotected.

There seems to be an attitude from professionals that ‘she is 17 so she can look after herself’. Eva thinks that her life is tainted so she should just lead the life she currently has. If Eva was 13 or 14 when she was admitted into care the agencies would have done more, but because she was nearly 16 she did not get the intensive support that she needed.

Thousands of 16 and 17 year olds like Eva are being let down by the law and failing to get the same basic protections as younger children. It's not just awkward, it's seriously awkward and it has to change.

As the laws stands, police cannot step in and protect older teenagers in the same way they can protect younger children. But right now there is a golden opportunity to strengthen the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds like Eva from sexual exploitation. This is being debated in Parliament and very soon MPs will take a crucial vote. Watch a Seriously Awkward video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsdatBIe2u8.

Now it is time to listen and to act.

We need help from the parents who see the endless headlines about young people being subjected to horrific sexual crimes and want young people to instead have a bright future. Together, we have to make sure as many MPs as possible back the changes needed to make sure young people at risk of sexual exploitation get better protection. We do not want the mistakes of the past to be repeated in the future.

Do something great for Eva and thousands of others being let down by the law. Add your voice to The Children's Society's Seriously Awkward campaign now to call on the Government to strengthen the law to protect older teenagers from experiencing horrific sexual crimes.

Take action now at: www.childrenssociety.org.uk/do-something-great.

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