Chelsea's Story is an innovative and powerful production highlighting the very serious and emotional issue of the exploitation of children and young people. The production shows how young people, boys and girls, are groomed by adults for the purposes of exploitation using various methods, ensnaring young people and eventually taking complete control and dominating their whole lives. The audience will gain a better understanding of the devastating impact that exploitation has on a young person's life. This is a very useful and innovative way of raising awareness of the issues relating to exploitation and reaching young people, giving them some skills and knowledge to be able to protect themselves from this form of abuse" – Sheila Taylor, National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People
‘Chelsea’s Story’ (formerly ‘Chelsea’s Choice’) is a hard-hitting, 45-minute-long Applied Theatre Production (followed by a 15-minute post-show talk) that has proven highly successful in raising awareness around the sexual exploitation of children and young people.
The production can be targeted at three different groups:-
• Young people (year 7+)
• Parents, carers, teachers & professionals working with children & young people
• The Police & The CPS
PLEASE NOTE THAT, DUE TO THE SENSITIVE NATURE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER, THE PLAY IS NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN IDENTIFIED AS HAVING SUFFERED TRAUMA, ABUSE OR EXPLOITATION. CONSULTATION WITH THE YOUNG PERSON, THEIR FAMILY AND PROFESSIONALS SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN AND THE YOUNG PERSON SHOULD BE GIVEN AN INFORMED CHOICE AS TO WHETHER THEY WATCH OR NOT.
The play has been seen by over 950,000 young people & hundreds of professionals around the UK & has proven highly effective at covering:-
• What makes a Healthy Relationship
• What makes an Unhealthy Relationship
• Safe Internet Use/Sexting
• The Grooming Process, CSE & the differing methods that perpetrators can use
• Avoiding Victim Blaming
• Where t go for help and advice
For adult audiences it also:-
• Raises Awareness of the warning signs of exploitation
• Raises Awareness of the journey that young people may have been on that has resulted in them being exploited – a journey that can all too easily make it seem as though they have ‘made their own choices’ and can leave them not seeing themselves as victims and fighting against any intervention.
Throughout 2018 AlterEgo collected survey data from a selected number of audience members at various points throughout tours of the production.
The data reflects the audience’s responses to 7 different statements about their awareness of the issues - & the results are shown in the table below:
Based on results from 6000 feedback forms. Agree Disagree I now have a better understanding of Child Sexual/Criminal Exploitation 98% 2% and the differing forms that it can take. I now have a better understanding of ‘The Grooming Process’ 97% 3% and how it is used to trick, trap and manipulate people into being exploited. I now have a better understanding of ‘Safe Internet Use’ and why I should 97% 3% keep myself and my personal information safe online I now have a better understanding of what makes a ‘Healthy Relationship’ 99% 1% I understand that ‘Grooming’ and ‘Exploitation’ can happen to 98% 2% young boys as well as girls. I am aware that the process that Gary used on Chelsea is not the only way 96% 4% that ‘Grooming’ and ‘Exploitation’ can work. It can be done by men, women, boys and girls. It can be done by individuals as well as gangs and groups. I would recommend watching ‘Chelsea’s Story’ to other young people 98% 2% my age.
“The ‘Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation’ action plan recognised the crucial role of raising awareness among children, parents and professionals in preventing exploitation taking place. The action plan also recognised that identifying the tell-tale signs of grooming and exploitation can play an important role in raising awareness of the issue. The Government believes that local initiatives like ‘Chelsea’s Story’ have a key role to play in preventing grooming and exploitation and in helping keep children safe from this heinous crime.” - Rohini Krishnamurthy, Child Safeguarding Division, DfE
© 2016 Drumglass High School