'˜Sexploitation' film made by teenagers to help their peers

A FILM to help youngsters spot the signs of sexual exploitation has been made by volunteers from Leigh Park.

Saturday, 10th December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:07 pm

The teenagers made the film with the charity Fixers as part of its involvement with Havant-based youth charity Active Communities Network.

Those involved are known as ‘Fixers’ – young people who use their past to change the present. The film is an educational tool for their peers.

Nineteen-year-old Chanelle Hopkins, lead Fixer on the project, said: ‘We wanted to explain what CSE means and the ways young people can get caught up in it.

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‘It’s not just females who can be exploited, but also males, and we want them to be able to recognise the signs, seek help and report it.

‘I hope the film will allow young people to realise it’s okay to speak out.’

The two-and-a-half minute film encourages youngsters to ask themselves certain 
questions in order to assess whether they’re being exploited.

They include ‘am I being bargained with?’ and ‘am I being told to keep secrets?’.

The project, targeted at over-11s, began after investment from the Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane and Artswork – a charity that works with young people to create arts and cultural programmes.

Charlotte Bishop, programme manager for Active Communities Network, says: ‘We’re delighted to be able to support Hampshire Constabulary’s campaign.

‘Thanks to the investment, and support from partner agencies such as Barnardo’s, Step by Step and local schools, we have actively engaged more than 1,000 young people in the area.

‘The film will be a free sustainable resource on offer to schools and partners to continue to increase awareness of this important subject.’

The project is part of a wider child sexual exploitation campaign run by the Havant Neighbourhood Policing Team, which supports Hampshire Constabulary’s Operation Makesafe.

PC Kerry Lewis, of the Havant NPT, said: ‘It’s hoped this film will enable any young person who may be at risk of CSE to better relate to it.

‘We also hope that teachers, youth workers and parents will be better able to spot the signs after seeing the film, and report it to help us safeguard those who need our help.’