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Praise for 'brave' teenagers.

CHILD exploitation worker believes the Newcastle teens who had the bravery to report their alleged exploitation should be praised.

Wendy Shepherd, who has run projects against sex crimes in the city with charity Barnardo's, said the first girl to come forward had hopefully paved the way for others to go to the police.

She said: "Often a girl has talked to a key worker and then been encouraged to talk to the police so that they can take the necessary action.

"They are incredibly brave to go to the police because often there can be a lot of coercion, threats and bribes and a it can be really life-threatening. There's a sense of embarrassment too about what's happened.

"When the penny drops at the enormity of what's gone on it's very damaging because these young girls would never expect someone to betray their trust - they thought that they cared for them."

In Newcastle help is available for young people through the SCARPA scheme run by the Children's Society which provides youth support to young people who go missing or are at risk of sexual exploitation.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 28, 2014
Words:185
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