Strengthening participatory practice with children and young people affected by sexual violence
On Monday 18th November, to mark the European Day on the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, the ‘International Centre, researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking’ (IC) at the University of Bedfordshire, in the UK will be sharing findings from the Our Voices Too Youth Advocacy Project
In early September the Our Voices Too team at the International Centre (IC) organised our second shared learning event in Chisinau, Moldova, for the Our Voices Too Youth Advocacy Project. This two day meeting brought together our partners - Different & Equal in Albania; the National Center for Child Abuse Prevention (NCCAP) in Moldova and ATINA in Serbia to share learning on how the project has been developing.
In this new podcast we share some key findings from the Being Heard report, a review of the international evidence on youth participatory research on sexual violence against children. We focus in particular on a question that researchers and organisations working with young people often grapple with: can vulnerable young people, including those who have been affected by sexual violence, actually 'do research' on such a sensitive topic?
Following our scoping visits to Albania, Serbia and Moldova last year, we are delighted to introduce the partner organisations that will implement the Our Voices Too project and we look forward to embarking on the next phase of this innovative project with them!
Dr Isabelle Brodie (International Centre) shares findings from a scoping review of the literature she conducted with colleagues from the International Centre on the participation of young people in child sexual exploitation (CSE) services. The review was part of the Alexi Project and can be accessed here. Isabelle speaks about the different meanings of participation, what conditions need to be in place in order to make participative working possible and effective, and shares young people and professionals' views on participation in CSE services; what they value and what they find challenging.
This case study discussion will be based on a number of different experiences of accompanying and supporting young people affected by sexual violence to participate in conferences overseas. It will explore and reflect on different scenarios that have arisen during these trips that predominantly revolve around the age of these young people.
The session wil take place on 22 March at 1pm (UK time).
This blog reflects on our trip to Moldova as part of the Our Voices Too scoping. Through discussions with organisations and individuals working in the fields of sexual violence, child rights, and participation, we found that Moldova shared some of the same socio-political barriers to participatory work with young people affected by sexual violence that we encountered in our previous visits to Albania and Serbia.
On the 29-30 November we hosted the Our Voices Partner Meeting in Luton. This event brought together partners and Youth Facilitators from the LEAP project, new partners for the Our Voices Too project, and representatives from youth networks and other organisations in Europe. 23 participants attended the meeting travelling from Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, the UK and the Netherlands.
Group work with young people affected by sexual violence is currently under-theorised. Having a better understanding of feminist, trauma and empowerment theories may help us to better understand the true potential of group work with young people affected by sexual violence.
The LEAP project is a European project which aims to support children and young people affected by sexual violence by strengthening and facilitating participatory practice. It is running from 2015-2017, and is part of the Our Voices programme of work.
When young people have access to information and adults are able to have meaningful conversations with them a strong basis is in place for young people’s participation. However, many professionals are hesitant to discuss healthy sexual development, risky sexual behaviour and sexual violence with young people. Professionals know it’s important, but don’t feel competent to do so. This blog post shares learing from a recent webinar which explored these issues and was hosted as part of the LEAP Project.