Young people who have experienced child sexual exploitation are putting their heads together to make childhood safer and society more responsive for future generations.
With the support of Fixers and health research charity Wellcome Trust, young people with insight into one of the most pressing issues of today will come up with proposals that reflect the sharp edge of their experience.
They’ll be discussing, and then proposing action, in three main areas; child sexual abuse from family and trusted adults, coercion into unwanted sexual behaviour, including sexting, and sexual grooming.
The young people will explain what went wrong for them, how adults and their peers reacted, their treatment by professionals, and the effect on their mental and physical wellbeing.
They will then be defining what they wanted from those around them, either to stop or prevent the abuse, or to respond in the best possible way when it happens.
Their efforts will culminate in a conference in London on April 26, when an invited audience will hear from the young people about their proposals to help ‘fix’ the problem.
The event will be hosted by TV and radio host Karen Danczuk - who has lived experience of child sexual abuse.
She says: 'I'm thrilled to be working with Fixers. I think it's important that we actually listen to the opinions of young people who have gone through this as opposed to learning about it from a text book.
'I think it's crucial that these young people have a voice and the opportunity to express what they're thinking and feeling, and to say how people can help to make their life better in the wake of what they have been through.'
The conference is open to health, education and social support professionals, as well as the police and other law enforcement agencies.
Contributors are expected to include 25-year-old Siobhan Pyburn - whose father was jailed for her childhood abuse in 2007 and who, with the help of Fixers, has become a prominent and articulate campaigner for better reporting of and support for child sexual abuse victims.
Adam Shaikh, 19, who was abused by a family member in Pakistan and has created a spoken-word poem with Fixers about his experience, is also due to attend.
‘Fixing Child Sexual Exploitation’ is part of the Feel Happy Fix Series which brings together young people who already campaign on issues that affect their well-being, to share their insight and the lessons they have learnt.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.