As the founder of the CHILDHOOD LOST Campaign, Nicola responded to the appalling revelations of the Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation Report by calling for the urgent implementation of the steps the Campaign’s 100,000 petitioners are calling for:
- Accountability and transparency from statutory services, so that parents and survivors can regain confidence in local child protection services
- Reform of abduction orders so that all children, at home or in care, are protected up to the age of 18 and so that if a perpetrator breaches an order there is a penalty
- Court reforms, including, specialist training for prosecutors, defence barristers and judges; the current pre-recorded evidence pilot to be nationally rolled out and extended to witnesses up to age 24; and automatic guidelines hearings so that vulnerable witnesses are protected from being re-traumatised in court
- Set up specialist child sexual exploitation centres where police, social workers, NHS and education specialists can work together to identify children at risk and intervene, ideally to prevent these vile crimes, but if not to prosecute as quickly as possible
Read the New Statesmen’s account of Nicola’s campaign here.