Victims urged to come forward

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Yorkshire’s top lawyer has urged other victims of child sexual exploitation to come forward and report abuse.

Speaking after Amanda Spencer was convicted, chief crown prosecutor Martin Goldman said: “Victims who succumb to sexual activity through grooming and manipulation do not, in the eyes of the law, consent to it. 
“If this has happened to you, your freedom to make a choice has been taken away. 
“I urge any victims of sexual offences to come forward and report their abuse.

“We and the police will listen to you and support you.”

Today children’s charity the NSPCC urged parents to speak to their children if they are worried about them becoming victims of sexual exploitation.

The charity runs two helplines – one for children the other for parents, professionals and carers.

Fiona Richards, of the NSPCC, said: “Try to create an environment where children can tell. Child sexual exploitation can be shrouded in secrecy and silence. Reassure children they are not going to get into trouble.”

“We also need to educate children and young people that perpetrators come in all guises and ages. 
“They can be male, female and of all races and backgrounds, sometimes working alone and sometimes in gangs.

“There is no typical victim of sexual exploitation, all children can be targeted.”

■ ChildLine 0800 11 11

■ NSPCC 0808 8005000