Teenagers in Year 10 and above are being urged to watch a “hard-hitting” film “based on the real life experiences young people have faced in our area”.
Control is a six-part series that follows the story of “Sarah” and her stepbrother “Kyle” as they are groomed by a criminal gang.
Viewers see how sexual and criminal exploitation impacts their friends and family as both of them become “increasingly tangled” in the manipulation of gang-leader, “Sammy”, and exploitative couple, “Lee” and “Nikki”.
The film was written and produced by John Gilbert and Jenni Harrison, of eskimosoup, with filming and editing by Iain Thompson, of Storyboard Media.
It was funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership as part of the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside’s Not In Our Community initiative.
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The film is available to watch as a series or as a feature length film online, with lesson plans for use in schools and youth services available here.
A spokesman for Not In Our Community said: “The situations that Sarah and Kyle are based on the real life experiences young people have faced in our area.
“The stories shows how things such as grief and isolation make Sarah a vulnerable young person and therefore a target of people like Lee and Nikki. There are things that push and pull her into a situation where she is being groomed and then sadly sexually exploited.
“Alongside this, Kyle is being groomed too. Although, on the face of it, their situations might appear different, at the heart of it are adults who know how to build trust and then exploit them for their own financial and sexual gains.”
The spokesman said the film has a clear message.
“It’s pretty hard-hitting and is aimed at audience aged from school Year 10 and above,” he said. “The feedback we get is that it’s very absorbing and makes people think hard about their relationships and those of their friends around them.
“Like all Not In Our Community films, the message is that exploitation is never the victim’s fault and that help is available to try to deal with these horrendous situations.”
Watch part 1 of Control in the video above.
The spokesman added: “If someone is in immediate danger, call 999. If you have concerns about grooming or exploitation, you can call the local police on 101.
“For 24/7 free, confidential help and advice, you can call or text 116000 – a dedicated sexual exploitation helpline run by the missing persons charity.
“Alternatively, young people could speak with a trusted adult such as a parent, grandparent, carer, teacher, youth, health or social worker, and you can use www.notinourcommunity.org to work out the next steps to take together. There are also local organisations here to help you listed on the ‘Get help’ section of the website.”
To watch Control, click here.