Brighton and Hove City Council’s plan to help young women escape gang violence

A BRIGHTON councilor has warned that “increasing” young women and girls are at risk of being exploited by gangs as the city council secured new funding to tackle the problem.

Brighton and Hove City Council has committed nearly £115,000 to its work to prevent the sexual and violent exploitation of vulnerable young women and girls.

The council said that although boys and young men involved in gangs often draw the attention of city hall, police and other authorities through public drug dealing, antisocial behavior or street violence, girls and young women can remain invisible to authorities though they make up a third of gang membership.

She added that young women and girls are often forced to keep or carry drugs or weapons through emotional, physical or sexual exploitation, which can lead to self-harm, substance abuse or suicidal thoughts.

And that a large part of the serious and violent crime in the city is linked to drug trafficking and county line activities, using social media platforms such as Snapchat in all aspects of drug supply in Sussex.

Council officials say a dedicated young worker (YWW) will work with girls who are either abused or at risk of exploitation by gang members.

The new YWW will focus squarely on helping young women stay out of gangs and helping those already involved to get out.

Read more: How dangerous is my road? Brighton and Hove crime reports mapped

They also offer support on a range of issues including exploitation, drug use, mental health, education and peer relationships.

Councilor Zoe John, vice-chair of the council’s Children, Youth and Skills Committee, welcomed the funding.

“More and more young women and girls are at risk of being exploited in gang culture, so we very much welcome this funding,” she said.

“It will enable our young woman’s worker to work face-to-face or in groups with vulnerable girls and help protect them from sexual exploitation and violence by gang members.”

The council said it is also looking at gang culture as part of the Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP), which brings together data and expertise from Sussex Police, local authorities, the NHS including hospitals, public health, criminal justice and community organisations.

The VRP identifies and tackles the root causes of serious violent crime in Sussex to protect young people and make communities safer.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22314563.brighton-hove-city-councils-plan-help-young-women-escape-gang-violence/?ref=rss Brighton and Hove City Council’s plan to help young women escape gang violence

Fry Electronics Team

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