Scenes in the BBC’s new three part drama ‘Three Girls’, which is based on the true stories of victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale, will have been heart-breaking and harrowing for viewers to watch when it aired.
But the harsh reality is that we need programmes like this to be made if we are ever going to lift the lid on child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Horrific crime with lifelong effects
Often unseen, it is a horrific crime which may have lifelong effects on its vulnerable young victims.
It can happen to any young person whatever their background, age, gender, race or sexuality. And it can take place online or in the real world.
In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status.
Sadly, many victims often trust their abuser and don’t understand that they’re being abused as they believe they are in a loving consensual relationship.