A drama depicting issues related to child sexual exploitation is being performed at schools and venues across Wiltshire this autumn.
Chelsea’s Choice is aimed at pupils aged 12 and over and shows how boys and girls can be groomed by adults for child sexual exploitation (CSE). The production is also suitable for adult audiences. Wiltshire Council and the Wiltshire Association of Secondary and Special School Headteachers have commissioned performances at secondary schools and community venues starting from Monday 31 October and throughout November. One of the performances for the general public will be on 31 October at County Hall Trowbridge from 7pm. CSE is a form of child abuse which is happening nationally and could mean children and young people living in Wiltshire are at risk. Victims of CSE can come from any socio-economic background. It involves children and young people being forced or manipulated into sexual activity in exchange for something – e.g. money, alcohol, drugs, gifts, or accommodation – or perhaps affection or status. Those exploiting the child or young person have power over them because of their age, gender, intellect and physical strength. Wiltshire Council works with partners to raise awareness of CSE, identify victims, and prosecute abusers to help eliminate it. This work is well underway to address the three key strategic strands of Prevent, Protect and Pursue. Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police formed a specialist team known as Emerald to protect victims and ensure abusers are caught which has been operating for more than a year. Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services said: “When this play was performed at Wiltshire schools last year, there was tremendous feedback on how its powerful messages prompted pupils to discuss the issues. We hope this will have a similar impact this year as we support the drive to stamp out CSE in Wiltshire.” Jerry Wickham, cabinet member for public health and protection said: “This play helps to heighten awareness which in turn means more people can recognise the signs and report their concerns.” A trailer for the play can be seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAo8Yly8rFk&feature=youtu.be If you would like to attend the performance on 31 October at County Hall please email firstname.lastname@example.org If anyone is concerned about a child in Wiltshire and would like to speak to someone, they can contact the MASH team on 0300 4560108 or out of hours on 0845 6070888. If the incident is considered an emergency people should call 999