Rotherham abuse survivors to share their stories at conference

Jayne Senior has helped organise the event
Jayne Senior has helped organise the event
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Victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham are to share their stories at a major conference next month.

The event called ‘Coming Out of The Darkness’ will take place in Leeds on March 11.

It will also include speeches by Professor Alexis Jay and Louise Casey, who have both written reports on the issue of child grooming in the town.

Another keynote speaker is award-winning Times journalist Andrew Norfolk, who broke the Rotherham story in the national media.

A panel of survivors from Rotherham will be offering a personal perspective of their experiences of abuse, as well as speaking about the work they have been involved in since the Jay report, including work with government commissioners and South Yorkshire Police.

The event has been organised by Safeguarding children consultant Adele Gladman and 2015 Woman of the Year Outstanding Achievement award winner Jayne Senior, two of the people who helped expose abuse issue in the town.

Ms Gladman was a Home Office researcher who worked on the issue in the town in the early 2000s, with Ms Senior in charge of Risky Business, an outreach programme for trouble youngsters in Rotherham.

A spokesman for the event said: “The event will reflect on the lessons learned from Rotherham and enable others to learn from and develop models of good practice in CSE. They believe that by providing a strong panel of expert speakers and practical advice on how to tackle CSE it is possible to prevent future similar abuse in towns and communities across the UK.

“This event is the first time that such an impressive array of expertise and experience has been brought together in one day.”

Other individuals confirmed as speakers include John Drew, an independent author who is currently undertaking a review into South Yorkshire Police’s responses to CSE, Zoe Lodrick, a nationally-recognised sexualised trauma specialist, DI Gemma Booth of the highly regarded CSE team from Derbyshire Constabulary and David Greenwood, a legal specialist in child abuse negligence cases.

High-profile figures including ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen are expected to be in attendance.

Tickets cost £195 plus VAT, with discounts available for multiple bookings and for voluntary and charitable organisations. Visit www.comingoutofthedarkness.co.uk.