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What is The Clewer Initiative doing now to combat modern slavery?

3rd February 2021 | Women in the Shadows

Our brief at The Clewer Initiative is to encourage dioceses and churches, together with other partners, to raise awareness of modern slavery, in the belief that this will lead to the greater identification and care of victims.

The Clewer Initiative

One of the ways we do this is to develop resources that churches, communities and individuals can use to grow in their understanding of modern slavery and exploitation.

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Women in the Shadows is our latest resource.

Launched to coincide with Lent, it seeks to shine a light on the plight of marginalised women in the UK and explore what we can all do to identify and support victims and reduce the prevalence of modern slavery. We hope it will be used widely, like last year’s County Lines Lent Course, to introduce the issue of modern slavery to a new audience.

At the heart of the course are five short films which include haunting survivor stories and compelling interviews with ten people who work on the frontlines. The films are accompanied by a devotional study guide, which has been written by a range of Clergy friends who are all deeply committed to combatting modern slavery in their dioceses. The hope is that the reflections and background information will help people process and apply the lessons from the films to their own context.

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The material is designed to be used by individuals, groups, churches and community partners. Clips can be shown in public and online worship to inspire action and provoke thought.

We have worked hard to involve lots of different frontline organisations so that we can benefit from their insight and expertise. There are many sobering moments in the films where the true horror of modern slavery is apparent. It is so helpful to have the police’s view on county lines as well as the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority understanding of forced labour.

Similarly, we were privileged to hear from Sister Lynda Dearlove of women@thewell, Rosie Hopley of Beloved, Karen Anstiss of Caritas Bakhita House and Alison Logier of Hestia. All of these incredible women work every day alongside victims of modern slavery so they know exactly what sort of support is needed and what members of the public can do to help. Louise Hulland, author and modern slavery campaigner, was able to provide a bird’s eye view of the issue and Shayne Tyler, a perspective from the business world. Finally, Jackie Mouradian of Mosaic Creative and Bishop Alastair Redfern both issue huge challenges about how society needs to become more caring if women and girls are to be protected from ruthless criminal gangs.

Why not join us in spreading the word about Women in the Shadows? Please signpost people to our website or the trailer?

While it has been launched for Lent, we believe the films will have enormous longevity. Our plan for the next few months is to develop a secular resource to stand alongside them. Please consider using the films and devotional now or in the future.

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Women in the Shadows

Learn about the stages of a victim’s experience of exploitation, specific types of modern slavery affecting women and girls and ways that we might bring about change and recovery.

Read more

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