Protecting children from exploitation
We’ve learnt a lot over the last couple of months about the challenges some young people face. That sometimes bad people can take advantage when they are at their most vulnerable. When we started this project we knew very little about the way that county lines and child grooming operates. As we researched the project we saw the effort and energy that is put into exploiting young people, breaking them down so they can be used for criminal purposes. It is a process that can take years, is very gradual and often happens without the child involved realising that they are being exploited. They think they have just made some new friends and that the things they are being asked to do are part of that new relationship.
We wanted to make a film that really spoke to children on the verge of being pulled into this world, that gave them clear ways to put a stop to it and empowered them to speak out. We worked with Aiesha on the script, a very brave young woman, who herself has been a victim of exploitation. Together, over zoom, we created a story based on fact and designed and animated the project in Photoshop and After Effects. Our aim was to make something that children could enjoy watching, that felt relatable to them. Something that they could see themselves in and that would encourage them to reflect on their own situation and the situations of their friends. It felt to us that the way to create barriers to exploitation is for us all to pay closer attention to each other, to be involved and to listen more.
We are very proud of the film and hope that sometime soon a young person will be watching it and think, this is me, I can do something about my situation.
The film is created for Not In Our Community, Humber Modern Slavery Partnership & Humberside Police Crime Commissioner.