Rosie Stiven joined the Mothers’ Union in 2000. For the last five years, she has been the Diocesan President for the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Salisbury.
She first came across modern slavery in 2018 when the Mothers’ Union formed its official partnership with The Clewer Initiative. Prior to that, she had not known much about the issue so she was shocked as she found out about the scale and nature of the crime.
“I had pockets of understanding. Through the Mothers’ Union commitment to fighting gender-based violence, I had a knowledge of sexual exploitation and neglect. I knew about drug trafficking and the horrific Morecambe Bay cockling disaster but I hadn’t put it all together or heard the term “modern slavery.”
As I learnt more about the issue, through The Clewer Initiative, I was horrified. It felt like an awful spider’s web with interlinking parts, affecting so many vulnerable people.”
Since those early meetings with The Clewer Initiative in 2018, Rosie has seen it as her remit to spread information about modern slavery to the members of the Mothers’ Union, using all the resources at her fingertips. She has then asked them to spread the word in their churches.
“Despite what you may think, the women of the Mothers’ Union are incredibly motivated and energetic. They are keen to share information about modern slavery and keep an eye on their communities and spotting things that are unusual. They are often aware of unseen trends or issues like the appearance of a pop-up nail bar or children missing from school post lockdown.”
Rosie sits on various committees at a Diocesan level, including the Social Justice Committee. She sees it as her job to keep modern slavery front of mind and to flag up new Clewer resources, as they emerge.