When I think of gangs, I tend to think about groups of kids who, in some cases, might be a risk to others.
For the most part, I don’t connect gang membership itself as being risky to young people in the same gang.
But, along with abuse from other gangs this is actually what happens, particularly for girls. The following summarises the initial findings of ongoing research into the sexual abuse of girls in the context of gang membership.
In the wake of Mark Bridger’s conviction for the abduction and murder of April Jones, there has been a media hue and cry about the need to prevent access to online “child pornography.” In the cross-hairs are the internet service providers, or ISPs.
This is a cause I feel very strongly about, so I will reserve most of my ire for a future post on the subject.
However, there is something closer to home, more immediate and much more easily challenged, that requires our attention – that of the sexual imagery that our children see everyday. It is all around us. In the shop, the garage, the supermarket, the street; the kinds of places we all go. The trouble is, our children come too.
Watch this short video-post from the YourChildEyes campaign, to see what I mean.
NOTA is hosting a one day conference in the midlands on the 20 June 2013, to explore the the theory, research and practice related to child protection and organisational safety. Speakers include Marcus Erooga, Donald Findlater and Joe Sullivan.
The conference is being organised to to develop understanding of the abuse of children and young people by people in positions of organisational trust, and how this understanding can improve prevention, intervention and treatment efforts.
KEYNOTE 1 – Situational Prevention – What are the Lessons being Learned by Organisations that work with Children about the Prevention of Sexual Abuse? Donald Findlater, Director of Research and Development, Lucy Faithfull Foundation; Sexual Abuse Prevention Campaign, Stop It Now! UK & Ireland
KEYNOTE 2 – Inside the Minds of Professionals who Sexually Molest the Children with Whom they Work. Dr Joe Sullivan, Director of Behaviour Analysis & Forensic Psychology, Mentor Forensic Services, Cork, Ireland
KEYNOTE 3 – Creating Safer Organisations: Practical Implications of Research about Abuse in Professional Settings. Marcus Erooga, Independent Child Protection Consultant, Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Applied Childhood Studies, University of Huddersfield and Associate Editor, Journal of Sexual Aggression
Previous research has primarily focussed on work with adult male offenders; however, in recent years studies have been conducted into adolescent males and, more recently, adult women who offend sexually. To date, however, girls have been left out. The Taith study hopes to contribute to future assessment and treatment paradigms and to influence policy concerning this important but minority group.