Time to protect the most vulnerable

“It’s not about the celebrity, it’s about the legacy,” says Charlie Daniels.

After enjoying her fair share of the former, she is now passionate about using her experiences to change things for the better.

It’s hard to think of anyone more qualified to speak about change than someone who has worked so hard to turn their life around.

After spending years campaigning for sex workers’ rights, Charlie is currently working for changes to what she describes as the “woefully inadequate care system” she believes does little to protect vulnerable young people.

Charlie was brought up by a foster family and had spells in care. She recognises now that she was groomed for prostitution by an older woman while she was a single mum living on benefits.

But, she says, there is a clear link between people in care and crime.

“When they’re looking for an answer to our ridiculous crime figures, the political parties change the law.

“But it’s about changing behaviour, not the law. We need to break the cycle of offending – not just re-offending but preventing young, vulnerable people in the care system from becoming involved in the first place.

“Ninety per cent of prostitutes have spent time in care at some point in their lives. It’s the same story with young offenders.

“Grooming and exploitation are two aspects of this.

“It took me years to realise that I had been groomed, so how is a vulnerable 13-year-old going to spot what’s going on?

“There has to be intervention before they are drawn into prostitution and crime and at the moment the system is woefully adequate.”

Visit Charlie’s website http://www.preventingoffending.co.uk/ to learn more.