LATIMER PROVIDES KEY YOUTH PARTICIPATION STRAND FOR NEW OFFICE OF THE CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONER REPORT ON SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN GANGS AND GROUPS
We have partnered with University of Bedfordshire to produce the four films accompanying today’s report released by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) on sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, co-creating media that helped give voice to the young people involved.
“It’s wrong… but you get used to it” – A qualitative study of gang-associated sexual violence towards, and exploitation of young people in England reports the findings of a study, commissioned by the OCC, from the University of Bedfordshire that included individual interviews of 188 young people aged 13 to 28 years and focus groups with 76 professionals from across the six research sites.
The study, commissioned by the OCC as part of a wider two year inquiry on child sexual exploitation of girls within gangs and groups found significant levels of sexual violence, including young people’s knowledge and experience of individual and multiple perpetrator rape. Despite this, only 1 in 12 of interviewees felt young people would be likely to report such crimes.
Seeking to develop an inclusive and participatory process which promoted the representation of voices normally absent from policy dialogue, the OCC commissioned Latimer to deliver a creative response to the themes of the research and enable young people to take an active role in considering how issues relating to gangs, sex and relationships are communicated to other young people and professionals.
As a result, to accompany the report, Latimer worked directly with young people with first-hand experience of gang violence in pilot sites across the UK. The aim was for the young people to co-create a response that spoke directly to their peers about the issue of sexual violence. In the process, those involved were mobilized to become vocal civic champions in their communities.
“Whilst recommendations in the report will speak directly to policy makers, it was important that young people were able to articulate their own response, one which spoke directly to their peers. With this project, we have given voice to young people with first-hand experience of the issues explored.” – Matthew Hay, director at Latimer.
The final films made by Latimer are to be launched and then showcased at a series of local and national events coinciding with the launch of today’s research findings starting with a screening at the Houses of Parliament this afternoon.