Feeling Safe

The Feeling Safe Project seeks to increase young women’s resilience against sexual exploitation, gaining knowledge, skills and confidence in feeling safe.

Women aged 18-24 are supported to recognise sexual exploitation, identify risks and seek help when needed. Sexual exploitation does not simply stop because a young person reaches their 18th birthday and the impact of such abuse can reverberate into adulthood. Research from women caught up in sex work reveals that over half (some figures suggest up to 75%) were sexually exploited before their 18th birthday (Paying the Price: The Home Office, 2004).

The ‘Feeling Safe’ project has been running since 2012 where it developed organically out of a need within the city and a partnership with The Children’s Society. This partnership highlighted the lack of specialist support for victims of CSE who were aged 18 or over and no longer eligible for children’s services. Our commitment to supporting adult victims of sexual exploitation has led to KairosWWT being the only service in the city offering specialist support to young women aged between 18-24 years affected by child sexual exploitation.

The project includes the following services:

1-2-1 Floating Support to help service users address factor in their lives that make them more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, including mental health, homelessness, drug addictions, lack of family and friendship networks and unresolved past trauma and abuse.

– 1-2-1 education-based sessions to increase young women’s understanding of exploitation, covering key topics like healthy relationships, grooming, consent and online safety.

– Group awareness-raising sessions in the community to help more people know about the issues and where to seek help

– Horse therapy sessions to improve confidence and mental wellbeing

– Peer-support group for young women to reduce isolation, increase confidence and learn new skills including an annual summer programme of activities

Last year, 89% of the young women in the project reported improved mental and emotional health as a result of participating in the Feeling Safe programme.

£10 helps pay for a young woman to learn about the risks of grooming and how to keep herself safe. You can give a gift here today.

We are very grateful to the Heart of England Community Foundation who support the Feeling Safe project, and are delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund will also be supporting this project to help it expand in the coming years. You can read more about the new National Lottery grant here.

Session 3 - On horse