“Don’t let their story be yours”, those are the words that feature in a series of commercials raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation as part of a States of Jersey Police Campaign.
Many islanders will be under the impression that CSE does not happen here, however cases have shown that children are becoming victims – and many do not even realise it themselves.
The three commercials, which airedg on Channel TV and across social media during the campaign, focus on the stories of three girls who are increasingly led down a path by an older boy who they believe cares for them, rather than the truth, which is that they are being exploited.
The commercials, filmed by local company Freedom Media, link in to a longer online video which shows how all of the girl’s stories overlap.
Chief Inspector Alison Fossey, who led the campaign, said: “Child Sexual Exploitation is a very real issue in Jersey which is why it was so important to make the advert locally, featuring recognisable Jersey locations, with local actors. If we didn’t it would be easy for people to dismiss the message as one which doesn’t relate to the island.
“The campaign wasn’t about scaring people but rather raising awareness of CSE, what it is and what to look for. We would rather educate people so it doesn’t happen, than try to pick up the pieces once it does.
“We want people to know that there are a lot of agencies who can and will help, not just the police. This crime effects people from every different background and ethnicity, and often just down to a naivety on the part of the girl not realising she is being exploited.”
The advert ran for two weeks on Channel TV, and was supported by further videos online.
CI Fossey said: “Finally I would personally like to thank all of the actors involved and their parents, many of whom we met beforehand, for supporting this project. We have some amazingly talented young people who have been part of this part of the project and we really couldn’t have done it without them.”
The adverts were filmed at locations including Parade Gardens, the skate park, Noirmont and outside the Brook clinic.
Officers from the States of Jersey Police and youth workers from Jersey Youth Service were on hand during filming to chat about the subject with passers-by.
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