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Barnardo's 'Remember they are children' campaign - justice for sexually exploited children

(17 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Feb-13 11:09:34

Barnardo's (one of our marvellous partners in the We Believe You campaign) is launching a petition today aimed at stopping the legal system making judgements about young people that that lead to them either not being believed, or being made to feel that the abuse they?ve experienced is their fault.

Aimed at the Lord Chief Justice, the petition calls for sexually exploited children, whatever their age, to never be treated as if the abuse is their fault. And for our legal system to remember that in child sexual exploitation cases, the victim is a child.

The Sentencing Review Council is currently reviewing its sentencing guidelines for sexual offences cases, so this is a great moment to let them know what you think.

So, if you agree, do please sign the petition and look at this page for more information about the campaign.


WowOoo Tue 26-Feb-13 11:15:54

Thanks Mumsnet.

Have shared the petition link on Facebook.

SageBush Tue 26-Feb-13 11:24:25

Good campaign.

I've signed and shared.

FloatyBeatie Tue 26-Feb-13 11:36:42

It's worth making clear that, rather than simply being a vague exhortation to the relevant professionals to do their job properly and not be arses in court, this petition is about using a current review of legal guidance to ensure a specific addition to the legal guidance which determines how people in court can be treated -- namely an addition that requires the system to "treat children as children" and not make unwarranted and inappropriate assumptions.

It would be good if the campaign info was a bit more precise -- if, for example, it mentioned a proposed wording for the new guidance (with detail about what exactly was ruled in or ruled out), and if it told us about the weight and reach of this guidance: Whom does it constrain (barristers? judges? expert witnesses? all witnesses? all of the above?)? What are the consequences of violating it? Etc.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Feb-13 11:57:23

Thanks all, and thanks Floaty - will pass that on to Barnardo's and see whether we can get a response.

NC78 Tue 26-Feb-13 12:20:00


firawla Tue 26-Feb-13 13:23:35

signed and tweeted

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Feb-13 14:45:46

Hello again

We've had a response from Barnardo's now (pasted in below):

Barnardo's wants the guidance to state that no child under the age of 13 can acquiesce to being abused or sexually exploited. And no child over 13 can agree to being groomed. We want this to be explicitly stated so that there is no confusion for the future.

Barnardo's has identified the Sentencing Council’s review of Sentencing Guidelines for Sexual Offences as an opportunity to make the legal process better for these children and others who experience sexual exploitation. Barnardo's is particularly focused on Section 5.

The relevant consultation guidance is here.

Writehand Tue 26-Feb-13 19:10:05

Thanks for the link. Have signed, as have other family members.

FarelyKnuts Tue 26-Feb-13 19:34:26

Is there any reason Barnados Ireland is not included in this campaign?

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 20:12:03

I'll be very happy to sign this.

PenelopePisstop Tue 26-Feb-13 21:23:37

Signed and shared on Facebook.

I work in FE in Rochdale. Massively important campaign.

Never want to hear "making their own choices" again!

IlianaDupree Tue 26-Feb-13 23:24:55

I don't think I'll ever understand how anybody can think sex with a child is ok.

<bangs head on desk>

HQ COOEEEE HELLO <waves madly>

Does this cover Scotland? I'm in no way going mad looking at legal documents at all, no siree

I was "moved" between Scotland and England and abused in both places, it would be good to have some joined up thinking in the legal systems of two countries without border control, or have I gorn mad?

IlianaDupree Tue 26-Feb-13 23:37:44

Completely agree with Penelope, "there is NO choice in abuse"

And sorry have read the links and states only England/Wales.

Is there anything in the pipeline re asking Barnardos Scotland/Ireland to comment on this?

Apologies for shouting thanks

KB02 Wed 27-Feb-13 09:07:02

Just read in one of the call the midwife books that thousands of girls under 5 were kept in brothels in the late part of the 19 th century

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 27-Feb-13 10:20:43


Sorry for the late response. As you've all gathered, this one is covering England and Wales, presumably because of the separate justice systems elsewhere.

Thanks for the support - do please keep sharing.

SandWitch Wed 27-Feb-13 13:53:10

Just wanted to add that the work that Barnardo's do with girls at risk of sexual exploitation is fantastic. I have worked with several girls who have taken part in the programme and they have benefitted enormously.

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