Our Voices is a programme of work coordinated by the Safer Young Lives Research Centre (formerly the International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking) at the University of Bedfordshire in the UK.
Our Voices consists of a number of different projects and activities that share the same overarching aim - to promote the involvement of children and young people affected by sexual violence in research, policy and practice.
Why do we think it’s important to involve children and young people affected by sexual violence?
We believe that involving children and young people leads to better research, policy and practice, which in turn helps protect other children and young people in the future.
We also believe that engagement in participative processes can help build protective elements for children and young people.
Through our projects and activities we aim to:
- improve the knowledge, skills and confidence of the children and young people involved in the programme
- improve practitioners’ understanding of, and confidence in adopting a participatory approach to working with children and young people affected by sexual violence
- support the academic community in involving children and young people affected by sexual violence in research
- generate and exchange learning around the risks and benefits of participatory practice
- advocate for the involvement of children and young people affected by sexual violence in policies and decisions that affect them and other young people.
How do we work?
We collaborate and work in partnership with international and national organisations who work directly with children and young people affected by sexual violence.
Where do we work?
Activities take place in a number of countries. Previous projects have included working directly with partner organisations and children and young people in:
- The UK
- The Netherlands