the sozo project
Christian support for women leaving prison




 
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the sozo project: Christian support for women leaving prison

the sozo project Christian support for women leaving prison
The Sozo Women's Resettlement Project - Registered Charity number 1139181
Campaigns
HOUSING – A MAJOR CONCERN FOR VULNERABLE WOMEN

HOUSING – A MAJOR CONCERN FOR VULNERABLE WOMENMany women leaving prison have no home to which they can return. At a time when they are most vulnerable, their restoration to society is seriously endangered by having no suitable, safe accommodation.

Homeless women released from custody are frequently housed in “temporary” accommodation in hostels, some of which are unsafe and unsuitable for vulnerable women wanting to change their lives.

The Sozo Women's Resettlement Project seeks eventually to provide safe and sustaining halfway houses – the Cedar House Programme - for vulnerable women supported by the Project. Meanwhile there is a need to campaign for the improvement of existing facilities and housing routes, and the development of reliable ways of housing all vulnerable women in safe and acceptable accommodation whenever and wherever this is required.

We plan to work with other interested organisations to bring this about. It will, we suggest, reduce the rate of re-offending as many leaving prison who are faced with homelessness (especially in winter), commit further crimes and are consequently returned to prison. Often those on probation will be forced to return to their offending area in order to report as homeless for addition to a local authority housing list. Addressing the failures in the housing situation for many of the women leaving prison will reduce the number of homeless people on our streets and also make our communities safer places.


RESPECT REDUCES RAPE, ABUSE AND VIOLENCE

More than half of the women in prison have been raped or otherwise abused prior to entering prison. In most cases, we find, it is unresolved.

From experience, we feel that in a significant number of cases, the root cause can be traced back to teenage years and can be directly due to two factors. Firstly, in some areas and sectors of society teenage boys and young men have little or no respect for their female peers. Secondly, similarly situated teenage girls and young women with low self esteem consider abuse by their male peers to be something they have to accept as part of their lives.

These attitudes have to change and we feel there is a need to co-ordinate an education campaign to reach these young people of both sexes – to establish respect for young females and to raise their self-esteem.

Some organisations and youth workers are addressing these attitudes in their own way but a co-ordinated effort is likely to bring the best results faster. By building RESPECT among these age groups we can help to change society for the better.

The success of such a campaign could bring about a reduction in overall violence against women (because many young abusers of women continue their violence into later adult life) and a decrease in crime rates. Young women with low self-esteem who have suffered in this way, can be easily caught up in crime. It is estimated that more than 50,000 women in the UK are raped every year.

We welcome the prospect of working with any organisation or individuals involved or willing to become involved in redressing these deficiencies in society, and prepared to be committed to planning a co-ordinated campaign and raise adequate funding for its implementation.

If you or your organisation are interested in a forum for either or both of these two campaigns we would welcome the opportunity to discuss them with you. The seeds have been planted. Now we have to help them to grow.

Note: We are also supportive of other organisations in campaigns against the death penalty in various parts of the world and with those working to resolve the causes and effects of violence against women in its many forms.

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the sozo women's resettlement project © 2012 - Registered Charity number 1139181 - Christian support for women leaving prison.

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