On the back of several high profile cases of child sexual exploitation (CSE), Health Education England (HEE) wanted to make a film that would both raise awareness of the issue amongst healthcare workers, and provide them with practical help and training to identify and deal with it. We were chosen to make the film after a rigorous selection process.
In order for us to understand what the audience would respond to, we first had to spend time getting under the skin of what is a difficult and complex issue. We spoke to healthcare workers who deal with cases of CSE, along with victims themselves to try and understand potential barriers to improving awareness of CSE. Having spent time immersing ourselves in the subject, we decided to base the film around realistic scenarios – played by actors – that healthcare workers might face, so that they could apply the learning in their own line of work.
We wrote a script based on scenarios featuring a single victim of CSE, to show how they might be affected at a number of different stages of abuse. We also included testimony of a real victim to add authenticity to the film. A strong script, great casting, and attention to detail in terms of props, locations, makeup and costumes, meant the scenarios felt very real. Finally, in post production we used on screen graphics to emphasise key facts and to ensure all the learning points were very clear.
The film is now being used for internal training across HEE and the wider NHS. It’s had more than 52,000 views online and is the most watched video HEE have ever uploaded. Our client has told us the video’s impact it down to its relevance and quality.