HOW YOUR SUPPORT HAS HELPED YOUNG PEOPLE
Last year Safe and Sound supported 99 children and young people under 18 at risk of sexual exploitation. At least 45 were victims of sexual abuse; many had been groomed, raped, threatened & physically assaulted.
We also reached 1,811 children and young people across Derby and Derbyshire with workshops in schools to try to raise awareness of the signs of grooming, as well as healthy relationship education and understanding consent.
We are asking a simple favour of you, as a supporter of
Safe and Sound on Giving Tuesday – 27 November.
Simply share your reasons for supporting Safe and Sound on your social media channels.
Download our Guide to Giving Tuesday
What our support looks like:
Young people who are at risk of or are victims of sexual exploitation rarely refer themselves to us, or any other service. Some feel they are to blame for their abuse or have been made to feel this way by an abuser. Some feel unable to come forward because an abuser has manipulated them into feeling loved or because they are being threatened with physical violence if they speak out.
When a young person is referred to us our support workers initially seek to establish a robust, trusting relationship with a young person who has been referred to us. This takes time and skill as often the young person is highly vulnerable, lacks trust and may feel adults have let them down in the past. We work with each young person to support their needs, in their time frame. One size does not fit all; our workers are intuitive, patient and provide an individual approach, carefully assessing the level of risk for the young person at each interaction and offering support. Working together, slowly and gently the young person learns they are not at fault and gradually is enabled to build their self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth, moving physically, mentally and emotionally to a place of reduced risk. The process is complex and highly skilled and will take as many sessions as needed to enable the young person to reach that place of safety.
Being able to offer this long-term support is so important to us as a small charity, but it takes time and skilled workers to do this. This is why all donations and support are so vital to us and can make a real difference to the number of young people we are able to support in this way.
WHO YOUR SUPPORT HAS HELPED
“I was missing a lot of school, things weren’t great at home either. I met a guy who was older than me and at first it began with buying me drinks and letting me stay in his flat. He would touch me but I didn’t like him like that. He forced himself on me, I wasn’t ready, I was 15. He raped me and did it more than once.
By 17, I was depressed and on medication and I just stayed at home. I didn’t disclose anything and never went into detail.
Now I’m so much more confident thanks to Safe and Sound, when I was in that relationship they told me that I was better than that. I was meeting with someone from Safe and Sound once a week and they were telling me this each time I saw them so it started sinking in.
Now I’m moving on but I don’t want to think about what my life had been like now if I hadn’t been able to get help.
“I met Dave on an instant messaging site. He told me he was the same age as me; I was 13. After a few days of chatting, he asked me to send him pictures of myself and I agreed. I thought I trusted him at the time, but now I know he was grooming me.
Dave quickly started threatening me, saying: “if you don’t send me more pictures of yourself, I’m going to show the pictures to your friends and family.”
I was terrified of people finding out what I’d done. I eventually told my mum but I was really scared and didn’t know what was going to happen next.
When my Safe and Sound Support Worker came round I was so nervous, I just cried for most of the visit, but she continued to work with me and be there for me the entire time I needed it. My Support Worker was there for me at my own pace.”
Download our Guide to Giving Tuesday and
share the reasons YOU support Safe & Sound