We have just completed our ‘What's Happening to Me? Project, which was delivered entirely in Scotland. It was supported with grants from The Robertson Trust, Hugh Fraser Foundation and Miss Agnes H Hunter’s Trust.
Our lead Trainer, Rubbena, took on four separate ‘roadshows’ throughout Scotland delivering face-to-face workshops to 71 young deaf people/adults (including parents) as well as attending the British Association for Teachers of the Deaf Conference in Edinburgh, mixing with a further 100 Teachers of the Deaf/SENCOs. She delivered training on a range of topics associated with Sex & Relationships Education (SRE). The children loved her, she was such a positive deaf role model.
Most of the children Rubbena worked with demonstrated a woefully poor level of understanding of issues relating to sex and relationships. They are clearly missing out on essential information that enables them to understand their bodies, protect their health, and negotiate adult relationships. Not only that, but they have learnt nothing about sexual consent at school and none of them knew the legal age of consent. It was clear that these deaf children had an increased vulnerability to sexual abuse most likely linked to communication difficulties.
Gaps in information and understanding make young deaf people at greater risk, as they are perceived as less likely or able to report abuse. There has never been a more pressing time to deliver our ‘What’s Happening to Me’ programme!
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