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A new project dedicated to preventing children and young people from being sexually exploited is launching in Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is pleased to announce that the West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC) has been chosen as the new child sexual exploitation (CSE) support service provider for Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

On top of the existing work being carried out around CSE prevention, ‘The Branch Project’ will provide education, intervention and support to children and young people who are at risk, or have been a victim, of CSE. The project will focus on:

  • Prevention – education will be provided in schools and community settings. There will also be one-to-one interventions for children and young people who have been identified as being at risk of CSE
  • Cope – where a disclosure of CSE has been made, one-to-one support will be given to support that young person through the criminal justice process
  • Recover – for those that have experienced CSE, they will be given one-to-one support to help them reintegrate into society

PCC John Campion said: “It is so important that young people are receiving all the support and education they can get. A key part of this project is to identify those at risk of CSE and educate them on the signs before it’s too late. However, it’s also about giving victims the support to help them cope and recover.

“A key reason WMRSASC was chosen to deliver this important work is because, as the specialist sexual violence organisation in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, they already have a vast amount of experience of delivering education and training within schools, as well as training for professionals. I look forward to working with them and other partners to continue the work in protecting the children and young people in our communities.”

Jocelyn Anderson, CEO for WMRSASC, said: “Child sexual exploitation is one form of child sexual abuse. We are pleased that the Police and Crime Commissioner continues to invest in the provision of specialist services for survivors.

“The Branch Project will provide children and young people, who have been targeted for sexual exploitation, with a safe place to talk and access information and support as well as funding the continued provision of the preventative work we are doing in schools and colleges.”

Issued on: Monday 19th November