Luton Council of Mosques and the Sunni Council of Mosques have been working with Luton Churches as part of Faiths Against Child Sexual Exploitation (FACEs) with a commitment to safeguard all children in Luton from sexual exploitation.
In March, we delivered a successful training session to approximately 60 faith leaders from across the Muslim and Christian community. Many Imams and management committee members attended the training and found the session valuable in raising awareness in order to prevent sexual exploitation.
Sexual exploitation of the young is a major issue within our society, something that as faith leaders we cannot ignore. A working party which includes faith leaders from the Muslim and Christian communities in our town have been meeting for over a year to consider our response to this major issue. We are united in our belief that we need to respond from a faith perspective and be part of setting the agenda.
To this end, training courses have been developed and delivered to help faith leaders to:
- Understand what abuse is, and how it can affect teenagers
- Understand how abuse is silenced, and why we need to speak
- Identify together our next steps for helping to break the silence.
This was done in an environment where we engaged with a difficult subject, seeking to identify what we have in common as faith leaders and recognising our concerns as faith leaders. It was led by experts in the field who understand faith perspectives. This was a significant complement to standard L1 and L2 safeguarding training which all faith establishments are encouraged to complete as well.