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The Pineapple Project is about safeguarding the young women of Dorset when they are outside of their family homes and in the community. 

We started this project in the Weymouth area based on our experiences and knowledge of the high incidences nationally of young women being harmed, often referred to as V.A.W.G – Violence against women and girls.

We know that there are significantly high rates of women and girls harmed within the home every day and we know there are traditional safeguarding methods to try and offer protection. The risk and harm in the community is an area where traditional and non-traditional methods need to be drawn together to increase safety and decrease the risk and harm to our young women and girls.

The risks and harms we know have happened and are happening are often in relation to sexual assault, exploitation, and peer on peer abuse. If we find out after we can seek to prevent reoccurrence, but we would like to change this and prevent before it happens.

Listening to our young women we know that:

  • many incidences occur locally
  • incidences have not been reported
  • ultimately young women’s harmful experiences can become hidden

This is also mirrored nationwide.

We believe that all young women should:

  • feel safe in the communities where they live
  • be given the opportunity to understand their right to safety
  • be able to seek the right support at the right time

Community guardians

We are looking for community guardians in:

  • Weymouth
  • Portland
  • Dorchester
  • Swanage

These are often adults, within communities, who can help safeguard our young people. They do this by raising awareness about how to respond to exploitation and harm outside of the home.

We ask our community guardians to be the eyes and ears of their local area. We want them to feel confident to safely challenge, observe and protect our young women whenever they need it.

We want to encourage curiosity in our community resulting in higher visibility for young women.

Being a community guardian can include working with the private sector, such as:

  • fast food outlets
  • cafe's
  • other retail shops
  • taxi drivers
  • hotels or hairdressers
  • other adults, such as park wardens and parents

The support you can give could include:

  • offering a safe haven
  • safely challenging inappropriate behaviour
  • signposting to support services
  • providing a distraction or diversion
  • reporting safeguarding concerns
  • reporting crimes

Community guardians will be:

  • DBS checked
  • provided with training
  • have access to a professional duty line
  • have access to a “toolkit” of support
  • have regular reflective discussions with The Pineapple Project Team

If you think you can help and would like to become a community guardian, or if you feel you could offer any other support in the community, please get in touch.

The Pineapple Project forms part of our wider initiative, Chesil Hidden Girls, which promotes safety for young women in Weymouth and Portland.

Children Services' staff in Dorset Council lead the project in partnership with Dorset Police, Weymouth College, Sexual Health Dorset and young women themselves.

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