Sarah Champion MP, Shadow Minister for Preventing Abuse and Domestic Violence, has succeeded in pressuring the Office for National Statistics (ONS) into removing the term abuse of children through prostitution from national crime statistics publications. The ONS had reported in their latest release in January that abuse of children through prostitution had increased by 65 per cent in the last year.

However, in a letter addressed to Government Minister Karen Bradley, Sarah pointed out that the use of the term abuse of children through prostitution was wrong as it infers criminality on the part on the child and does not acknowledge that children cannot consent to sex themselves, but are instead exploited.

As a result of Sarah's pressure, ONS have changed the term to abuse of children through sexual exploitation.

Releases from January this year and October last year have been amended and the ONS has confirmed that the old term would be removed from all future publications.

Sarah Champion said:

I am very pleased that the Government and the Office for National Statistics agree with me that the use of the term child prostitution is wrong and greatly misrepresents such a sensitive issue.

It is essential in moving forward and tackling all forms of child abuse that we address the mis-use of language and treat all victims and survivors with the dignity that they deserve.

Victim blaming has been a barrier to justice for many, this change is another step in the right direction.

You can view the letter from Government Minister Karen Bradley confirming the change here

NewsVanessa Johns