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Sex Transm Infect 89:4 doi:10.1136/sextrans-2012-050940
  • BASHH column

Gangs and sexual violence and exploitation

  1. Claire Brookings
  1. Correspondence to: Dr C Brookings, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Jefferiss Wing, St Marys Hospital, Praed St, London W2 1NY, UK; claire.brookings{at}imperial.nhs.uk

Gang culture and gang-related crime have been areas of government focus over recent years, with the main interest on knife and gun crime.1 Recently, growing numbers of high-profile media cases of sexual violence and sexual exploitation, linked to gangs, has lead to a 2-year inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups (CSEGG),2 conducted under the powers of the Children's Commissioner in the Children Act 2004. A session at the BASHH Doctors in Training (June 2012) reviewed anonymous clinical cases submitted to the CSEGG phase 1 call for evidence. It was only after attending the training day that I became aware and understood the extent and complexity of the gang-related sexual violence and exploitation faced by young people (YP) presenting to sexual health services.

Trainees were asked within groups to assess the likelihood of gang involvement of several case scenarios of YP attending a sexual health service. Each case was very different and led to active discussion within the groups, with a wide variety of opinion as to whether risk factors and …