In 2014 Barnardo’s worked with 235 sexually exploited, or ‘at risk’ children in the South East, compared to 62 in 2010. The charity supports both girls and boys, with some victims as young as 11 years old.
Barnardo’s has rapidly expanded the number of its specialist child sexual exploitation services around the UK as more children are referred to the charity for support.
Last year Barnardo’s began operating in several new locations and now provides support in 47 different areas across the UK. The charity offers more help for sexually exploited children than anyone else.
However, following sexual exploitation cases of the magnitude of Rotherham, Barnardo’s is facing an unprecedented demand for its services. It is in urgent need of extra funds (£370,000) to help appoint more support workers to deal with the children who desperately need their help.
Barnardo’s CEO Javed Khan says:
“Barnardo’s has been working to tackle the devastating impact of child sexual exploitation for two decades. The scale of this abuse is shocking – with more and more incidences of child sexual exploitation coming to light.
“Our experts in the South East see how this abuse inflicts devastating damage to vulnerable children. They work tirelessly to help these children pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
“Every day, more sexually exploited children are referred to us. Girls and boys from all walks of life can become victims of child sexual exploitation and the numbers are growing. Without further funds we simply won’t be able to reach all those who need our help.
“We urgently need people to make a donation so we can give all children who come to our door the support they need.”
Barnardo’s worked with a record 2,118 sexually exploited children across the UK last year, almost double the number it supported in 2010.
To find out more about the appeal and donate got to: www.barnardos.org.uk/emma.