By Tony Thompson
I have had the privilege of being part of the team that established FACES (Faiths Against Child Sexual Exploitation) a joint Christian and Muslim charity that seeks to speak into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) from a faith perspective. I am co-chair alongside a Muslim friend. We have been working together for the last 4 years. Our message is that CSE happens in all contexts because of fallen human nature, this includes faith contexts. However faith is not the problem, it is part of the solution.
Below is a podcast that explains our relationships and something of our work. It is a great example of how relationships can develop across faiths and how we can work together for the common good.
You can also find out more about our work on www.faces.org.uk
Our work has included working in schools in the classroom as well as advising schools on CSE and liaising with parents on the controversial issue of how this is taught taking into account faith perspectives. We have produced training courses for faith leaders on safeguarding.
Additionally we have a training course on prejudice and safeguarding. I was involved in delivering this course to selective members of Bedfordshire Police to help them understand that their inbuilt racial prejudices may detrimentally influence their approach to CSE. In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and the rise of the BLM movement we have adapted the course to focus generally on prejudice and inclusion. It is hoped that this will be taught online to mixed audiences of Christians and Muslim leaders, and anyone else who is interested.
If you would like to be informed about when the next Prejudice and Safeguarding course is to be run please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Thompson, Hope Church Luton.