Image: Helping Each OtherThe Association for Real Change has been given funding from Comic Relief for a new three-year project called Helping Each Other.

The project will train 12 young people with learning disabilities to become peer trainers, and will support them to deliver awareness sessions to 200 other young people with learning disabilities.

People with learning disabilities have an increased ‘risk factor’ for prostitution – proportionally 6 times higher than expected (UNICEF, CPS).  Sexual exploitation through prostitution affects both sexes, with an exchange of sexual activities for commodities such as money, drink, drugs, protection and accommodation. This prostitution is often perpetrated by an adult, through coercion, threats or violence.  There is also growing sexual exploitation taking place via the internet and membership of social media sites.

We will be supporting a small number of young people with learning disabilities, who have experienced sexual exploitation, to develop their skills as trainers.  We will then assist them in developing an awareness raising session that they can go on to deliver to other young people who have a learning disability, and who may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

This project is based on Peer Training, which we believe offers the greatest impact for people with learning disabilities, and will help to safeguard vulnerable young people by making them aware of a range of aspects of sexual exploitation, including:

  • different forms of sexual exploitation
  • strategies for reducing succeptability
  • how and where to get help

Additional information: