The Feeling Safe service supports young women aged 18-25 who are subject to or at risk of sexual exploitation, as they transition to adulthood. Many of these young women were subjected to Childhood Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and have moved on to us after spending time looked after by or receiving service from Children’s Services. We know that sexual exploitation does not simply stop or become a ‘choice’ just because a girl reaches her 18th birthday and the impact of such abuse can reverberate into adulthood. Research from women caught up in prostitution reveals that over half (some figures suggest up to 75%) were sexually exploited before their 18th birthday (Paying the Price: The Home Office, 2004). We also know that approximately 70% of women involved in prostitution are care leavers.
Feeling Safe 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 Kairos WWT being the only service in the city offering specialist support to young women aged between 18-25 years affected by child sexual exploitation.
We are very grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund who support the Feeling Safe service. You can read more about the National Lottery grant we received in 2019 here. We’re extremely thankful that the Lottery have extended our Feeling Safe funding until the end of March 2023, while we submit proposals to a variety of funders to ensure this important work is continued.
If you would like to support us, £25 helps pay for a young woman to be supported to build her confidence, healthy coping skills, and improve her wellbeing. You can give a gift here today.
In January 2023, researchers from Coventry and Nottingham Trent Universities completed a 3 year evaluation research project into the effectiveness of Feeling Safe and concluded:
“Feeling Safe provides an effective and supportive transitional service, the evidence presented demonstrates the continued necessity for a service that addresses the specific needs of young women of 18 years and above with complex unmet needs and vulnerabilities”.
The evaluation frames the work of Feeling Safe within the context of transitional safeguarding and speaks to the need for social care and Kairos WWT to work in partnership to develop effective pathways of transitional support, particularly for 16-18 year olds as they ‘age out’ of children’s services. The voices of the young women involved in the service are amplified and they speak highly of our trauma-informed, relational, flexible, women-centred approach.
Please click the link below to read the report; “The Research and Evaluation of Kairos WWT Feeling Safe Service: an exploration of exploitation and transition for you women accessing support”.