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Presentation on theme: " Cynthia: NIA Project & the Children’s Society Leonie: Barnardo’s SECOS Project Vicky: Streetreach Project Lucy: Independent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cynthia: NIA Project & the Children’s Society Leonie: Barnardo’s SECOS Project Vicky: Streetreach Project Lucy: Independent trainer and author UK Youth Advisors on Preventing Sexual Exploitation

2 We are part of the UK delegation with the principle aim of working towards the eradication of sexual violence against children and young people. The group is coordinated by staff at the University of Bedfordshire. We come from different organisations and different parts of England. As a group we are committed to working in partnership with one another and with other conference participants to share learning and understanding, create new dialogues and to develop new ways of moving forward with this work. Young people’s role and contribution to this work is of central importance. We believe that working to ensure that this conference launching the campaign to stop sexual violence against children is accessible to everyone, including young people, will help to create a more positive environment for all participants. Introduction

3 Introduction cont’d The role of the UK Youth Advisors The youth advisors have come to Rome to share learning about the participation of children and young people in work to stop sexual violence against children. The youth advisors within our group have been involved in working with a range of different projects. They are young experts who bring additional knowledge and perspectives to this work. They all have prior experience of working alongside professionals and other young people to raise awareness and understanding of child sexual exploitation within the UK. We recognise that talking about sexual violence towards children is difficult for everyone. We also recognise that sometimes children and young people are not included in discussions or decisions about work in this area. This may be for good reasons, with the aim of protecting young people from further abuse or victimisation. However we believe it is valuable to provide a platform for young people's voices. We have learnt that there are ways in which this can be done in a safe way, protecting young people from further harm or abuse while providing them with opportunities to develop their own knowledge, confidence and skills.

4 Cynthia - Young Trainer NIA Project & the Children’s Society The nia project is a London based organisation working with women and children who have experienced violence against women. In partnership with the Children’s Society (London Youth at Risk Project) it has run a young trainers programme for the past two years. The programme works with young people to design and deliver training on sexual exploitation for adult professionals who work with young people who may be at risk. For more information contact: Nicola Weller

5 Working to combat sexual exploitation Cynthia: Delivering training sessions and workshops for professionals and young people Taking the role of co-facilitator or workshop leader Aiming to promote further understanding of sexual exploitation

6 What I have learnt When delivering training to professionals they are often surprised to see a young person come in and train them Young people respond well to trainers their own age Adults often encourage young people to participate but then don’t take young people seriously Young people know what it is like to be young: remember that being young now is different to how it was when you were young

7 Encouraging other young people to come forward I urge all nations before me to allow young people to work with you on this issue; to encourage other young people to come forward and let someone know that there’s a problem

8 Leonie – Peer Educator and Youth Advisor Barnardos SECOS Project Barnardo’s Sexually Exploited Children Outreach Services (SECOS) based in Middlesbrough offers support to young people being sexually exploited in the South Tees area. It also offers training to professionals around sexual exploitation, trafficking, sexual abuse, self-harm and sexually harmful behaviour. The project works with young people in the Tees Valley, and their bases are located in Middlesbrough and Stockton. For more information contact: Wendy Shepherd

9 Teaching young people how to protect themselves Leonie: Delivering workshops to young people who go missing Young people understand today’s real life issues Raising awareness of the factors that “push” and “pull” young people into risky situations Giving young people coping strategies to keep themselves safe and be protected

10 Contributing to a national advisory group of young people to raise awareness about sexual exploitation Bringing young people from across England together Giving out questionnaires to agencies and lobbying policy makers Informing the government that young people’s voices are missing and lobbying to get them heard and involved. Making policies which reflect young people’s views

11 Vicky – Creative writing project participant and young advisor Streetreach Project Doncaster The overall aim of the STREETREACH Project is to provide a confidential service for adults involved in or at risk of prostitution and for children and young people who are being sexual exploited. In order to work towards this aim and make contact with our target group we provide an outreach/detached provision and a centre-based provision. Our aim is to help our clients to move on to more positive, safer, healthier lifestyles. Contact: Marilyn Haughton:

12 It’s hard to be really honest Vicky: I hadn’t talked about what was happening before because I didn’t want people to think I was bad or stupid It can be exciting when you first meet with men and the more that adults tell you not to do something the harder it becomes to tell adults what’s going on. I didn’t want to tell the truth at first but it’s important the project staff didn’t give up on me

13 If you listen you just might hear I contributed to writing a book of young people’s stories and had time to explain things in my own words It felt safe writing things down, knowing that no-one would change my words The book contains material that’s accessible and meaningful for young people Moving on isn’t easy, but it helps to be able to share things without being judged

14 Keeping young people safe Lucy: Independent trainer and author Written a book about my experiences Working with a project that previously supported me: delivering training and preventative work in schools Group work with young people who are sexually exploited

15 Instead of just focusing on the risks in young people’s lives I support them with their ambitions to help them be able to see a brighter future Contributing to the writing of procedures with local government child protection procedures Having a young person help write the safeguarding procedures makes a big difference in how authorities deal with the victims Helping other young people see a brighter future

16 Three things to take away We need to involve more young people to work alongside professionals to support young victims of sexual violence. Children and young people are very good at knowing what adults want to hear. Therefore children and young people only tell certain parts of what is really happening. Professional language can be alienating and hard for young people to make sense of.

17 Thank you For more information please contact:

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