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Extra-Familial Abuse

Extra-familial abuse is linked to 'contextual safeguarding' or 'complex safeguarding'.  These concepts refer to harm that occurs to children outside of their family system, often during the adolescent years because at this age their social networks widen.  These networks can have a significant influence over an adolescent's understanding of social norms.

A large proportion of child exploitation takes place in public spaces (parks, stairwells, high streets etc.) so it is these locations that often require a professional response to safeguard young people from exploitation rather than solely focusing on the child and their family.

Children experiencing exploitation and trauma may direct physical aggression towards their parents and siblings, creating further strain in family relationships.  Parents/carers can also feel a sense of guilt and shame that their child has been exploited, they may also feel physically threatened by perpetrators and concerned about their family's safety.

Parents Against Child Exploitation is a national dedicated website for parents/carers of children and young people at risk of, or being, exploited by perpetrators outside the family.  They offer guidance, support and promote the role of family in disrupting child exploitation.


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