A film by teenagers in the West Midlands to raise awareness of sexual exploitation has gone on national release.
People are being encouraged to watch ‘Anybody’s Child’, from youth-led group Chatback, which tells the story of a young girl who is groomed by a boy she trusts and who she believes loves her.
Starring the young people from Dudley, alongside comedian and actress Josie Lawrence, the film aims to help people understand how easily exploitation can happen and to recognise the warning signs so they can stay safe and make the right choices.
Premiered before an audience of 200 invited guests at Showcase Cinema, Dudley, last October, it is now being made available for everyone to watch in their own home via Youtube.
The film will feature on the regional See Me Hear Me campaign website www.seeme-hearme.org.uk and also be shown to teenagers in schools across the West Midlands region as part of this campaign.
Councillor Ken Meeson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“Our See Me, Hear Me campaign is all about raising awareness among people about sexual exploitation and the signs to look out for, and it’s great that Chatback have made their film available to all.
“This incredible film really highlights this shocking crime and very clearly illustrates many of the warning signs of abuse.
“I would urge people to visit www.seeme-hearme.org.uk and click on Anybody’s Child to take a look at the film and find out more about how they can protect themselves and their children from the dangers and distressing consequences of sexual exploitation.”
Launched last summer by Solihull, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Walsall, Coventry and Birmingham councils, along with West Midlands Police and partner organisations, the See Me, Hear Me campaign aims to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.
Working together, the aim is to protect children at risk by increasing people’s understanding of child sexual exploitation and how to spot the warning signs in a child or young person’s behaviour that may indicate something is wrong.
These signs include having friends who are older, persistently going missing, secretive relationships with unknown adults, truancy from school, chronic fatigue, constant calls on a mobile phone and the unexpected and unexplained possession of money or new things.
People can find out more about CSE, how to spot the warning signs and access Anybody’s Child at www.seeme-hearme.org.uk. The site also features other educational films, along with campaign posters for individuals and organisations to download and display.