Angles: Supporting individuals to share their experiences of abuse

Last updated: 18 Nov 2019 Topics: Safeguarding children Type: News article

We've been speaking to Alana Avery at On Road Media. Alana is a Senior Project Manager and manages the Angles project. This project works with people with lived experiences of abuse to enable them to share their story with the media.

What is Angles? 

''Angles: A Different Take on Sexual and Domestic Abuse, is a small project which is one of 4 focused on changing the media's and public’s understanding of social issues. Led by the award-winning charity On Road Media.

''All of our work at On Road Media is about supporting people with first-hand experience and expertise of social issues to collaborate with the media and influence popular culture.

''We provide informal carefully curated opportunities for the media to connect with a diverse group of people who have first-hand or relevant experience of the issue. The purpose of the project is to open up a conversation around this issue to find new, collaborative ways of covering the topic, in order to change public attitudes and have a positive impact on people’s lives.''

What do Angles do?

''We are improving the media coverage of people’s experiences surrounding sexual and domestic abuse, from soap storylines to news, by moving media professionals on an emotional level about the issue at hand.

''We support individuals to work with the media. We provide them with the skills and training to share their experience strategically and put positive boundaries in placeThis may mean they share parts of their story for a specific purpose with a specific audience in mind, preparing for this beforehand, rather than sharing all and feeling burnt out and self-doubt afterwards.

''We work as a connector organisation, finding creative ways to bring media representatives and groups with direct experience of a social issue together to collaborate.''

How do Angles work with adults with lived experience of abuse?

''We support survivors and sector professionals to work with the media by giving them media skills, opportunities to meet journalists and broadcasters, mentoring and peer support.

''We can all benefit from coming together and finding new ways of bringing these issues to light.''

Do Angles have the capacity to work with sports national governing bodies to support adults with lived experience of abuse? And if so, how?

''We are a small team with limited resources however, we work across the country and are building a network of resilient, focused and engaged people who collaborate with the media in various ways.

''With the launch of the Start to Talk campaign we are seeing a commitment from sports clubs, associations and federations to support children and adults to speak about the issue and put a stop to sexual abuse in sport.

''We hope our work can complement campaigns such as this and highlight the need for better understanding and more nuanced content in the media. This can then have a positive impact on the public’s understanding of these issues, in time, resulting in putting an end to sexual and domestic abuse.''

How can Angles and sports organisations work together to safeguard children and young people’s participation in sport today?

''We are supporting people with lived experiences to feel confident that they don’t always have to tell their own story or describe what happened to them. We support them to reflect on the system failures they experienced with reporting or safeguarding and to highlight what needs to change on a systemic level.''

How do Angles support adults with lived experience to speak out about their abuse?

''We work with advocates who are talking about their own experiences and want to improve the lives of people like them. They can risk more than a professional campaigner would as they are sharing their personal stories on public platforms.

''We have developed an effective method of enabling these people to influence change and popular culture strategically and sustainably, over the long-term, whilst looking after themselves and avoiding burn-out. Much of our work happens behind the scenes, influencing key decision makers in the media.

''We deliver specially tailored media training courses about twice a year, that give trainees practical media skills alongside an understanding of how the media works, how change happens, and how to practice good self-care. We also provide monthly peer support sessions in London for the Angles network which support anyone enthusiastic about engaging with the media. The project is currently supported by the City Bridge Trust.''

Further information

For more information visit Angles website. Including profiles of people who are in the network, resources for anyone thinking about engaging with the media, whether you have personal experiences of sexual or domestic abuse, or whether you work in the sector.

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