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PhotoVoice have partnered with the National Working Group network for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People to run participatory photography projects across the UK. All projects have run in partnership with specialist support providers who work directly with young people, who have experienced sexual exploitation or who have been identified to be at risk.

The young people have participated in a 3-month photography project exploring different themes that offer a context to sexual exploitation including gender, power and relationships. They have also developed their understanding of visual literacy, photography and story telling techniques.

The work created on the project represents their thoughts, responses and experiences through photography and text, and through creating their own digital stories. This process has enabled them to both make sense of their experiences and share their perspectives on the issues.

All the young people have had the opportunity to complete a SEPE (Supporting Employability and Personal Effectiveness) BTEC certificate as part of each project.

This website is a resource for service providers and professionals to deliver services and workshops that are directly informed by the experiences and perspectives of young people themselves. The activities have been created in response to their work, ensuring that the input from the participants directly supports other young people across the UK to understand the issues and context of sexual exploitation furthering their capacity to safeguard themselves.

The Having Our Say Too resource has been inspired by and developed from a project that has run over two years by PhotoVoice in partnership with NWG network and four different support agencies across the UK. It has enabled young people to explore through photography and digital story telling their experiences of, or perspectives on, the impact of sexual exploitation. All the work has been created on compact digital cameras and mobile phones and the concept, visual literacy and storytelling have been key components.

The activities have been designed to support your work with young people in exploring issues and themes relating to sexual exploitation. This material is intended for use in a range of contexts.

All the activities respond to the images and digital stories created by young people on the Having Our Say Too project.

The activities will help you to stimulate discussion and develop understanding of the issues involved.

All the activities in the resources section of this website can be adapted to the size of your group, their age and their knowledge of the themes and issues. Included are some useful definitions and additional resources to support the activities.

Additionally there is a section signposting agencies that will support you if you have concerns about a young person.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY SEXUAL EXPLOITATION?

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of abuse that happens to children and young people – across gender, ethnicity, different sexual identities and age.

The Young Women’s Group at the Nia Project defined it as; someone taking advantage of you sexually, for their own benefit. Through threats, bribes, violence, humiliation, or by telling you that they love you, they will have the power to get you to do sexual things for their own, or other people’s benefit or enjoyment New Horizons: 2008 (The Nia project & The Children’s Society).

At times sexual activity may seem consensual but those who exploit young people are always exerting some form of power that restricts that young person’s options.

CSE is still largely hidden in the UK. See: Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation In Gangs and Groups, Interim report, November 2012.

Here figures still don’t include young people being groomed and exploited online, through the leisure industry, religion, on the street or by celebrities. Increasingly young people are being trafficked within the UK.

CSE can impact on all aspects of a young person’s life. Young people who experience sexual exploitation can be at risk of both physical and mental health problems including post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, panic attacks, low self esteem, depression and even suicide. It can have a negative impact on a young person’s behavior, peer and family relationships, education and access to training/employment, Young people can be more vulnerable to alcohol/drug misuse, unintended pregnancies, internal trafficking, sexually transmitted diseases, homelessness and becoming involved in the criminal justice system.

INTRODUCING THE PARTNERS

PHOTOVOICE

Working in partnerships with other charities, projects and community organisations, PhotoVoice designs and delivers tailor-made participatory photography, digital storytelling and self-advocacy projects enabling communities and individuals to speak for themselves about their experiences and perspectives. See PhotoVoice vision and mission.

Photography is a highly flexible tool that crosses cultural and linguistic barriers and can be adapted to all abilities. It provides a creative and accessible way to define realities, communicate perspectives and raise awareness of social and global issues.

THE NWG NETWORK

The NWG Network is for individuals and service providers working with children and young people who are at risk of or who experience sexual exploitation. The network covers voluntary and statutory services including health, education and social services. It offers support and advice, raise the profile, provide updates, share national developments, as well as influencing the development of national and local policy informed by practice. The NWG is the only sexual exploitation network working across voluntary/statutory agencies tackling CSE, with links across Europe, South East Asia, Africa and USA exchanging knowledge, understanding, dedicated to seeking ways to find alternative solutions. For more information about the resources we offer go to www.nwgnetwork.org

THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of dedicated specialist projects around the UK, our partner and our funders but most importantly the young people who have generously offered their insight, honesty, personal experiences and perspectives enabling the development of this resource. It has been the intent of this project that young people’s experiences and perspectives directly inform the practice of professionals and in turn the services that other young people receive. 

PARTICIPANTS 
Saffron Milly, Luke Hayes, Caitlin McGarr, Alisha Watts, Char, Jean Jieman, Annie O’Kane, Rochelle O’Kane, Kelly Black, Jamie Cooper, Mitch Selvey, Charlie Jo Mavin. Sharlette, Marina, Kareemah Majdouline, Abbie Rodgers and Caitin Boys.

PARTNERS 
NWG Network, Lesley Gladwell.

PROJECT MANAGER 
Helen Cammock

FACILITATORS 
Ania Dabrowska, Adam Lee and Helen Cammock.

SUPPORTING FACILITATORS 
Clare Struthers, Juliet Vine and Nick Blackhall.

RESOURCE INPUT 
Elizabeth Noble.

1 — DEFINING THE ISSUES – GROUP STORY
2 — SAFFRON MILLY
3 — JEAN JIEMAN
4 — LUKE HAYES
5 — CHARLIE JO MAVIN
6 — MARINA
7 — JAMIE COOPER
8 — SHARLETTE
9 — KAREEMAH MAJDOULINE
10 — CHAR
11 — ALISHIA WATTS
12 — CHAR
13 — ANNIE O’KANE
14 — MITCH SELVEY
15 — KELLY BLACK
16 — CAITLIN McGARR
17 — JEAN JIEMAN
18 — ROCHELLE O’KANE
19 — EXPLODING THE MYTHS

ABBIE ROGERS, CAITLIN BOYS, ALISHA WATTS (AND STUART HIGGINS AND CLARE SULLIVAN)