Offences against Children

Home Office written question – answered on 26th January 2021.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that girls who are experiencing sexual exploitation continue to receive support when responsibility for their safety and wellbeing transitions from children to adult safeguarding services.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Sexual exploitation is a devastating crime. The Government understands and recognises that exploitation does not end just because a child reaches 18 years of age. The statutory safeguarding guidance, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, is clear that agencies should work together to plan and prepare for this transition. The Home Office is working closely with colleagues across government, including with the Department of Health and Social Care, to ensure children transitioning from child to adult services continue to receive support, where this is needed.

Provision of support for victims of all forms of sexual violence and abuse is a priority for the Government. We have significantly increased funding for support services across the country, which victims and survivors can access throughout their lifetime to help them cope with the devastating impact of sexual abuse and exploitation. For example, in 2020 the Ministry of Justice increased the funding available to rape support centres across England and Wales by 50%, from £8 million to £12 million per annum, to provide much needed support to victims of sexual violence and abuse.

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