young person advocate banner imageSupport for young people

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Teenagers who have experienced gender-based violence need specialised support tailored to their needs. Refuge’s youth advocates support young people at the point of crisis and work to increase their long-term safety – but they also prevent future abuse through early intervention in cases where a young person may be at risk.

Refuge’s youth advocates also work with local schools, colleges and child protection officers, so that professionals understand the forms of violence that often affect young people, including child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour’ based violence – and how to refer teens on to Refuge.

Charlotte* is 15-years-old and was sexually abused by a parent. She explains what the support of a Refuge youth advocate meant to her.

“I am glad I have a youth advocate helping me through my problems. I feel like I can talk to her and she will listen to me without judging me. She helps me understand my feelings and is really helping me with all my court stuff and how it all works. Having a youth advocate has helped me feel calmer and able to cope with my situation.”

*Names have been changed to protect anonymity

If you are a young person experiencing abuse, you can find support and information here.