Understanding the experiences of young people of faith is vital in order to inform best practice in safeguarding approaches. Our first research project will be carried out over 2019/20 and will explore how Christian and Muslim young people experience sex and relationships education (SRE) in formal and informal contexts, how this relates to their faith, and what this means for its safeguarding capacity.

We know that SRE is an increasingly contentious topic as it becomes compulsory in the UK for all children enrolled in school, which makes this research even more important. Young people’s experiences and views should be heard, and SRE should take into account their nuanced experiences in order to make it appropriate and meaningful.

We continue to challenge the narrative that faith is part of the problem in relation to sexual abuse and exploitation; we say faith can play a critical role in creating solutions.

This project is led by Dr Helen Beckett and The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking, strengthening our working relationship with the local specialist CSE centre.

From FACES the research will be carried out by Dr Lucie Shuker and Rehana Faisal, supported by Gry Apeland from Youthscape, with a wider FACES focus group reviewing and advising the work.

Currently there is very little research that amplifies the experiences of young people of faith, and we want these perspectives and experiences to be at the heart of our understanding and response.

This projected is funded by The Tudor Trust.

How can you get involved?

We’ll be carrying out focus groups with Christian and Muslim young people aged 16-21, if you work with young people or are a young person interested in being involved, please contact rehana@faces.org.uk.