We know that Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation is a very difficult subject. Our project ‘Where are the Boys’ funded by Children in Need made us aware of how much sexual abuse is still a taboo subject for boys. We are looking to reach more boys, raise awareness and engage boys into a dialogue.
In Partnership with Barnardo’s Seraf Service we used creativity to raise awareness of sexual exploitation at the Health and Well Being Conference for Fitzalan High School in Cardiff. During the day we worked with more than 100 boys .
To begin Lisa Ambrose from Barnardo’s explained the facts around sexual exploitation. She asked the boys to discus stereotypes and showed the film ‘Hidden’ which shows true stories of young people boys and girls who were sexually exploited. The boys were shocked and surprised to hear that 40% of victims of sexual exploitation in Wales are boys.
They were given the option of different art forms, music, video and graffiti.
They discussed the impact of the film and why boys find hard to ask for help using graffiti the boys looked at what keeps them ‘safe’ and sprayed key words on a board. The final art work will stay in school as a positive daily reminder.
We found the combination of sharing information and using the art worked really well. Sexual exploitation is a very difficult subject to approach especially with teenage boys and we are also aware that some of the young people in the sessions might be affected and had enough staff present to talk to individuals. As part of the sessions we signposted to organisations and people who can help.
NSPCC 0808 800 5000
Samaritans 08457 90 90 90