Loudmouth – Changes to Our CSE Work

Loudmouth has been delivering work on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) for 20 years (Read our blog outlining some of the changes we have seen during this time here).

We work closely with organisations like NWG (link?) to ensure that we keep our programmes up to date and that they meet the needs of schools and young people.

We recently made some changes to our CSE programmes that you may not be aware of so we thought we would give you a quick update.

Helping Hands – Protective Behaviours Consistent Version Coming in 2019

A couple of years ago Helping Hands, our primary programme on Domestic Abuse had a major revamp to look more widely at staying safe including CSE and online safety. This age appropriate programme provides a safe and accessible way for children to discuss safety with lighter comic scenes that look at the NSPCC PANTS rule interspersed with more grounded scenes on grooming through gaming and reporting child sexual abuse (CSA).

Over the next couple of months this will have some further redevelopment to ensure that the content is consistent with Protective Behaviours approaches.

In November 2018, all of Loudmouth’s Actor / Facilitators were trained by Ann Seal, Protective Behaviours, Safeguarding and Child Protection Trainer in Warwickshire. This covered the key processes and approaches followed by discussion on ideas on any suggested tweaks to Helping Hands.

The rewrites have been started and we plan to launch the new version with an event early next year.

Working for Marcus Hotseat – Challenging Victim Blaming

Hotseating is a technique that we use in a lot of our programmes where the audience have the chance to talk to, question and sometimes offer advice to the characters from the drama. In our CSE education programme Working for Marcus, we have always given the audience a chance to speak to the main character Caz. Until recently this meeting with Caz was when she was still living with Marcus and unsure how to safely get support.

We recently made the decision to change the end of the drama so that Caz gets away from Marcus. There is now a bit of a time jump and the hotseat allows the audience to see what happened to Caz a year on.

By moving things on a year we achieve two things. Firstly, Caz is no longer as vulnerable and can reflect and talk about the issues without the exchanges being so heated or raw. Secondly it allows us to realistically give Caz language that she has learned to use to express her feelings around victim blaming and so can articulate more clearly what she thinks or feels about the judgements people have made over the last year.

So far this has had great results. Questions are more thoughtful, the discussions calmer and more reflective and much clearer. If groups ask questions to Caz such as ‘why did you drink alcohol when you were only 14?’ then she can come back with ‘why did Marcus buy alcohol for a 14 year old?’ or if they ask ‘why she didn’t leave?’ she can focus on what Marcus did to trick or stop her. It also provides a great way to share lots of Caz’s thoughts and feelings without the pressure of defending accusations.

Working for Marcus – Male CSE

During the workshop element of Working for Marcus we split off into small groups of around 15 young people to discuss the issues covered in the drama. A key element of this is to widen the group’s understanding of forms of exploitation.

Over the last year we have been running an exercise with all groups following the story of a young man called Jay. The group are given a scenario and vote at key points on what they think Jay will do. The scenario follows Jay as he is approached by a girl he likes from school, is invited to a party at her cousin’s house and gradually starts spending more and more time with her there. The storyline is designed to replicate how young men may be drawn into abusive situations with each element that may have seemed minor or safe at the time with the abuser, in this case the girl’s cousin hiding the manipulation.

The exercise creates a lot of discussion and debate as the groups are drawn into the story. They begin to understand what has been happening and the way that Jay was tricked or coerced into a situation where he has very little choice than to do what he is told to do.

We started running this exercise only with the young men in the group and now use this with male and female groups.

We are looking at adapting this to focus more on county lines using a similar approach to highlight the manipulation that can happen even when there is no sexual element involved.

For more information on our work on CSE or to book one of our programmes call us on 0121 446 4880.

What people say

Take a look at how we’ve helped others

Brilliant acting and interaction with the children. The play itself covered puberty in an open, realistic and humorous way which forms a terrific basis for future discussion with the teacher and each other. So much depends on the enthusiasm of the actors and I feel that we were very lucky to have such a talented pair, not only to perform, but to lead the discussions afterwards. They were able to relate to the children without any embarrassment. SUPERB!!


Compared to other companies we have had covering the same content, the actors were more flexible and accommodating to the children’s individual needs. Through their answers and questions, the children were demonstrating a higher level of understanding, empathy and personal safety.

Safeguarding Lead