imageThere is currently a consultation led by Government to redefine CSE – and they want it to be a subset to child abuse ie uncouple it from CSA. The deadline for responses to the consultation is noon tomorrow ie 11th March 2016. And we need lots of people to send them emails to say that CSE needs to be seen within the context of CSA and not separate. Please cascade further as you feel appropriate. Tight deadline !

You can read more about the consultation (not too many pages, so fairly quickly) at:

Below is the content I have sent them, as an individual

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Dear Government,

Whilst I welcome the willingness to consider the need for a CSE definition – we are not in favour of the uncoupling from Child Sexual Abuse. Our reasons for this is that many of the children/young people who have been victims of CSE have previously been a victim of familial child sexual abuse.

I consider, and work on the basis that, CSE is a form of CSA – and not separate.

I am NOT in favour of the present proposal and consider an that the following is more appropriate:

“Child sexual exploitation is a form of child SEXUAL abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for, amongst other things, money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection or status. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.”

The background to our counter proposal – is that the exchange of money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection …….. is common within ALL forms of CSA – and not unique to CSE.

The majority of the women who access specialist rape and sexual abuse services have been sexually abused not only within their familial setting, but also by others outside of the home. In recent years I and others have been concerned at the lack of focus on the overall landscape of CSA, as government continues to focus on CSE. Whilst this is an important subset of CSA it also means that government continue to ignore the needs of the majority of children/teens who are currently or future victims of Sexual Abuse.

My thoughts on Andrew Picard ( Boeckman ) & his father Phillip

Imagine – if you can – a tiny girl of 3 being filmed & photographed whilst she is being raped. It’s unimaginable isn’t it? But it happened & it was captured in photos & film.

Now imagine that somewhere in the UK –  in a world far removed from her – an Etonian pupil looking, watching & sharing her trauma with his friends. To feed his fascination/addiction to viewing this detestable crime. Unimaginable too? No. It happened & Andrew got caught.

Now back to the little girl. Not only does she not understand what’s happening to her, she does not even have the language to be able to tell anyone.

And who is she? Where is she? Does she have a caring family? Has anyone rescued her? Are the police investigating? Somehow I doubt it.

Conversely, the Etonian Andrew Picard (or more correctly Boeckman ) not only knew his activities were against the law, he comes from a privileged background. He has a wealthy family & his father Phillip Boeckman is a well known UK lawyer. It would appear his family fought hard (and succeeded) to protect their family name & also to gain a non custodial sentence for their son.

They are hoping that their son will move on, put this all behind him and gain a successful career & life for himself & that their family scandal will be forgotten & their privileged respectable life will be able to continue as before.

But what will be the plight of that little girl? Just one of many children depicted in those detestable images that Andrew viewed and shared?

Based on my own experience – arguably less traumatic than hers – she will be facing a life of mental & emotional turmoil, anguish & pain. That is – if she survives. Her survival & any degree of recovery will only be possible if she is found, rescued  & given a life time of specialist help & support.

Dear Phillip & Andrew Boeckman tell me – when you are both  lying in your beds  at night – alone with your thoughts – do you think about that little girl & her plight? Or do you just think about yourselves & breathe a sigh of relief that damage limitation for you & your family has been achieved?

I suspect it is the latter.

But if I’m wrong – and your conscience keeps you awake – then here’s something you could do.

Give some of your wealth to enable one or some of the many charities who work hard to rescue & support traumatised & extremely damaged children/adults who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.

Also how about campaigning for stiffer sentences for those who commit such vile crimes against children & those who fuel the demand for child abuse images by viewing & sharing them online?

It won’t help that tiny innocent traumatised little girl who provided sick “entertainment” for your son & his friends.

But it will go a long way to help other victims & survivors & make for greater deterrent for those who  commit crimes against them.

who knows – it might also go some way to restoring your “good” family name – much better than using your power & influence to manipulate the justice system & hide/cover up the scandal don’t you think?