The Powering Up Project at Leicestershire Cares, supports care experienced young people. Through our practice we are aware that many of the young women we work with are at risk of or have suffered sexual exploitation and harassment. This is an ongoing issue that can have a huge impact on the ability of these young women to live happy, rewarding and fulfilling lives. So, our project worker Krishna , has been working with young people and partners across public, business and community sector, to set up a group that will commence in August.
The aim of the Empowerment Group for Young Women is to establish a network for young women to support them and their needs as young women. We are aware that some of the young women we support are susceptible to exploitation, grooming, harassment, and a range of vulnerabilities. Our aim is to work with the young women to share learning and experiences so they can develop the confidence, soft and hard skills that will empower them to understand, identify, prevent and deal with situations where sexual exploitation is a potential issue. As with all our work, the aim will be on them dealing with immediate and pressing issues and then building connections that enable them to take positive action for change, encompassing our Power to Change model.
An investigation by UN Women UK found that “97% of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed, with a further 96% not reporting those situations because of the belief that it would not change anything.”
"One in five women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16."Ministry of Justice, Home Office & the Office for National Statistics (2013)
The steps we have taken so far.
I have successfully liaised with different organisations across the community to partner together with Leicestershire Cares to deliver a range of sessions.
The sessions will include sexual exploitation awareness, mental health and wellbeing, all female boxing/self-defence, finance and budgeting, Mendhi art and cooking.
The organisations we have engaged with and hope to have deliver sessions are,
Jasmine House a Leicester based charity working with female survivors of sexual abuse, sexual violence, and rape.
Shama Women’s centre a Leicester based charity focused on educational and employment needs of young women.
This Girl Can a female led boxing organisation based locally.
A member of Leicester city councils’ mental health and wellbeing team.
New Day New Dawn an organisation dedicated to working with that women and girls affected by violence and abuse have the potential to transform their lives.
I have created and sent out a survey to young women to collate information on what they would also like included in the Empowerment Group for Young Women, in hopes to tailor to the young women as well as focusing on what is important to them.
Desired Empowerment Group for Young Women Outcomes-
The young women will partner with staff to agree purpose and outcomes of group, but we sense this is likely to include
- Create a network to create and deliver CSE material and guidance.
- Successfully deliver a project to educate and inform young females women on the sexual exploitation and the risks and harm involved.
- Be able to identify the patterns of exploitation and the adverse effects.
- Empower the group to create and deliver a training pack, podcast or a creative tool to express and inform around CSE.
-Share learning arising with relevant local , regional and national policy forums.
For more information or to get involved in the Empowerment Group for Young Women, please contact Krishna.
Krishna@leicestershirecares.co.uk - Project Development Officer - Powering Up Project