Women as Protectors Helping mums protect their children from sexual abuse

Every child should feel safe at home. Women as Protectors helps mums and carers who are in contact with a man who poses a risk of sexual harm to children. This might be a current or ex-partner, someone who will be returning to the family or another family member who is in contact with the children.

With the right support, women can provide essential protection for their children. But until now that support hasn't been widely available. Recovery plans often focus only on the person who poses a risk – and women's needs can be sidelined. That can have a damaging effect on the ability to protect her children, leaving them at risk of sexual abuse.

Women as Protectors provides education, emotional support and guidance that can keep the family safe – now and in the future. It gives mums and carers a chance to talk about their experiences with others. Group sessions help educate mums about the best ways to protect their children.

Mums and carers who are in this situation may feel worried, confused or like they're alone. Women as Protectors offers them unique support, helping them to find a way forward and gain the confidence needed to keep their children safe.

Women on sofa chatting

How it works

We run 10 group sessions, lasting 2 hours each, which help mums and carers:

  • understand more about sexual abuse
  • learn more about why a man might sexually harm a child
  • share feelings about their partner's behaviour
  • understand why others may be concerned about him
  • learn how to talk to their children about risk and sexual abuse – and how to keep them safe

These sessions are followed by ongoing individual support with a trained and supervised volunteer.

We also offer 4 optional sessions with the child. In these sessions they can talk about their thought and feelings. We help them to build their confidence and understand their support network.

How the Women as Protectors service helps professionals

Women as Protectors is a structured and evaluated programme. Through the support we provide to women, we can develop a detailed report that can help inform your decisions and planning. Just let us know if you need it. The report will include:

  • an assessment of the mum or carer's ability to protect, based on topics covered in the group work
  • any identified risk issues and support needs for the woman and her children
  • the thoughts and feelings of the child, through the programme's work with children

We will work with the family and other agencies to make informed decisions about the children and their future safety.

Sexual abuse

A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online.
Read more about sexual abuse

Evaluating the impact

Find out how we're evaluating Women as Protectors.

Learn more

Where Women as Protectors is available

Belfast

02820 441650

Croydon

020 8253 1850

Nottingham

0115 960 5481

Southampton

02382 023 400

Stoke on Trent

01782 958100

Volunteer for our services

Give your time to help with our work supporting children and families who need us.
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Support our services

Our services help children and families who need support. With your help, we can make sure even more children are safe from abuse. 

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Assessing the Risk, Protecting the Child

We assess and work with adults to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse.
Assessing the Risk service

Letting the Future In

Letting the Future In helps children who have been sexually abused.
Letting the Future In service

Turn the Page

We protect children from the most common type of contact sexual abuse.
Turn the Page service

Caring Dads: Safer Children

Helping fathers see the impact their violent behaviour has on their children and how they can make positive changes for the future.
Caring Dads: Safer Children service

Donate now

Our services are helping turn lives around. Your gift can help rebuild lives, and prevent abuse from ruining any more.

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