During the Summer of 2014, I was fortunate to act as the Prevention Project Worker for KairosWWT, a charity based in Hillfields, Coventry that supports women who are currently being or at risk of being sexually exploited. My post was for a short term of three and a half months, and what the charity and I accomplished was remarkable.
Not only did I evidence the need of women aged 18-24 to receive support in feeling safe and coping with being a victim of crime, but I also educated them about sexual exploitation incorporating the Protective Behaviours Process.
Protective Behaviours is a practical down to earth approach on personal safety, emphasising that we all have the right to feel safe all the time and we can talk with someone about anything even if it is awful or small. Protective Behaviours equips individuals with a skill set and knowledge to recognise their feelings, thoughts, and have a choice about their behaviour. It teaches individuals to trust their internal feelings and think practically about how safe we feel and how we can seek help when we feel unsafe.
As a result of this work I developed an original resource: Feeling Safe: Knowing Me and Knowing You which will inform bespoke courses to assist in educating and raising awareness of sexual exploitation with young women.
The importance of this work and the need for further work in this area is reflected in the relief the some young people expressed at having the chance to engage with the subject of sexual exploitation during the project activities. They ‘jumped at the chance’ to talk and ask questions. Sexual exploitation is now current in the media and professionals want to feel competent in delivering appropriate knowledge: more importantly young people also want to feel safe and feel able to refrain from becoming a victim (VCF Report 2014.)
I would like to thank KairosWWT for this fantastic opportunity and their support on creating this report and future resource.
Click the link below to review the report evidencing the need of support and education on sexual exploitation for young women in Coventry.
More information for Knowing Me and Knowing You courses:
Women aged 18 and under, please click here
Women aged 18 – 24, please click here
Professional facilitators, please click here