Help Jiwsi empower vulnerable women and girls in North Wales with the knowledge and encouragement they need to avoid unplanned pregnancies and take control of their futures.
With your support, Jiwsi plans to deliver a one-day contraceptive and sexual health course to 12 health care professionals who each work with up to 50 young survivors of sexual assault per year; so the reach and impact is extensive. To implement this vital training, this aspiring social enterprise needs to raise £1,400.
Jiwsi (sounds like 'juicy') is a project founded in 2019 which began as part of the FPA and is now run by the social enterprise Cwmni Addysg Rhyw (Sex Education Company). The team, consisting of five volunteer directors and two members of staff, work with vulnerable young people and health care professionals in North Wales. Jiwsi's mission statement is to "develop and deliver bespoke, honest, inclusive, accessible and fun education and training on growing up, relationships and sex, to enable everyone to develop the life skills they need to make informed health and wellbeing choices."
Project Jiwsi was delivered by the sexual health charity FPA for over 16 years in North Wales, funded via the local health board. In May 2019, FPA went into liquidation and ceased to trade; the staff were suddenly made redundant and the vital work of Jiwsi was terminated. In order to continue the essential work of Jiwsi, two long-standing Jiwsi staff members have set up a social enterprise, Cwmni Addysg Rhyw, and have been awarded the health board contract to continue delivering Project Jiwsi.
SUMMARY OF WORK
Project Jiwsi delivers needs-led, targeted relationships and sex education (RSE) to vulnerable young people under 25 years of age in North Wales. Over the last two years Jiwsi has been delivering RSE to a group of young women who access a support group within a local sexual assault referral centre (SARC) because they have experienced sexual violence.
These young women had not previously had RSE that met their needs; that talked about sex in a positive way and assumed that one day they would want, and have fulfilling and pleasurable sex lives. Many professionals avoid talking about sex with this client group as they don’t want to trigger them, or assume the young women don’t need or want this information. Jiwsi staff asked the young women what they wanted to explore and they told us they wanted information on safer sex, pleasure and ‘what is normal?’ Jiwsi staff then delivered tailored sessions to these young women and the feedback from the SARC and the young women has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Our service users found the Jiwsi sessions extremely helpful. They provided a safe space to discuss topics that were usually difficult to raise and enabled them to reflect on their own relationships. This work is important because a really important part of recovering from sexual violence is being able to have a healthy and happy sex life, yet it is something that is rarely considered.” - Health care professional
For young women who have experienced sexual violence an unplanned pregnancy can be devastating. Not only do they have to cope with the impact of sexual violence and the myriad of complicated implications within that, they also have an unplanned situation to respond to, with very clear time constraints increasing the pressure on their decision- making process. It makes a difficult enough situation even more challenging, both for themselves and for their families.
TRAINING HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
Based on the positive response to the Jiwsi RSE with girls and women who have survived sexual violence, Jiwsi would like to deliver targeted training to other professionals who work with young women who have experienced sexual violence. The aim is to increase the understanding within the workforce that young women who experience sexual violence still need sexual health information to meet their current and future needs. A one day contraceptive & sexual health course to twelve healthcare professionals who have up to fifty young women, who have experienced sexual violence, referred to them every year. This course will focus on normalising safer sex, ensuring pleasure and consent are part of the dialogue and reducing barriers to their service access.
The training will focus on exploring the professionals' personal values around contraceptive education and advice, giving clear information on the range of contraception currently available, normalising safer sex, whilst ensuring pleasure and consent are also part of the dialogue. The participants' knowledge base and confidence when communicating with the client group about contraception choices, safer sex and service availability and access will be increased. Jiwsi has experienced that young women want this information, sensitively delivered, to empower them to make positive choices for themselves now and in the future.
WHY NORTH WALES?
In 2017 in Wales, over 3,000 young women under 20 years of age became pregnant, a conception rate of 36.1 per 1,000 women in this age group. This was 4.7 per 1,000 higher than England and 41.4% of these conceptions in Wales led to the young women accessing an abortion. With many young women living in rural areas of the country, choices about what you can do regarding an unplanned pregnancy and the services available to help you are more difficult to access. Most young women who wish to have an abortion in North Wales still have to travel to Liverpool to access one.
Jiwsi has been working with vulnerable teenagers and young women in North Wales for the last sixteen years led by Mel Gadd who is seeking to continue the work through the Social Enterprise Company Cwmni Addysg Rhyw. By training other healthcare professionals Jiwsi is extending its reach and enabling them to empower the many young girls and women referred to them through sexual assault referral centres.
“Jiwsi works to enable young women to take active control over their contraception choices. Through training, it equips professionals to support young women who have experienced sexual violence to make positive contraception choices and choose when they want to become a parent; to ensure they don’t have that choice taken away.” - Mel Gadd, Director of Cwmni Addysg Rhyw
Donate to Jiwsi today to:
- Empower survivors of sexual assault take control of their futures, their contraception choices and when and if they want to have children.
- Train healthcare professionals with tailored relationship and sex education skills for girls and young women referred to them through the sexual assault centres.
- Equip vulnerable girls and young women with bespoke relationship and sex education, sensitively delivered, to empower them to make positive choices for themselves now and in the future.