The “Helping Ourselves Prevent Exploitation” project aims to reduce the vulnerability of women and children with intellectual disabilities to sexual exploitation. To achieve this the project provides learning for professionals about sexual exploitation co-delivered by peers with intellectual disabilities to improve multi-disciplinary responses and cooperation.
This is a report from the Hope peer mentor team in Southwell, UK:
“We are the Midlands team. We have been busy since Christmas. We have done some more training in schools on keeping safe from sexual exploitation and talking about what makes good relationships. We have been back to some schools to see what they remembered. They could remember about the videos we showed and the things we talked about.
There are 10 mentors in our team. We meet once a month to talk about what we have been doing and what we are going to do next.
We spent some time looking at new games and films to keep people safe and we tried some out in schools. Some of these came from the Safer internet day. We talk about staying safe online.
We have been Hope mentors for two years now. Our team has worked with 150 young people in that time. We write up everything they tell us so that other people can learn things from the work we have done.
We like being in the Hope team and we want to carry on doing this work. We want to do work in other places and with other staff like mental health staff and nurses and police.
The Hope project will end in June. We are going to have a big conference in Birmingham. We are starting to plan what we are going to talk about at the conference. All three teams of Hope mentors will be there. We are thinking of ways we can share ideas, especially with the team who speak Bulgarian.”
For more information on the HOPE project click here