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‘I Set Up The Speak Out Project Because My Experience Of Emotional Abuse’ – Interview With Chlo

Credit: Adibah Iqbal

Credit: Adibah Iqbal

Adibah interviews Chlo Winfield the creator and organiser of ‘Speak Out’, which aims to educate young people around the issues of emotional abuse in relationships. She has recently held an event with activities, cake, music and talks from organisations. Oh and did I mention she is only 17, pretty awesome, right!

I sat down with her to find out how she was able to create her own successful campaign and here’s what she had to say…

What was the Speak Out event?

The aim of the events was to raise awareness of emotional abuse in young people’s relationships. It was held at The Station, which was a good venue because they are home to various organisations that work with young people. We had speakers and stalls from different organisations that work with young people to prevent domestic abuse around Bristol.

Why did you decide to set up the ‘Speak out’ event?

I wanted to set up the Speak Out project because I experienced emotional abuse from my ex-boyfriend and it made me realise just how little is known about it. I didn’t even realise he was abusing me until I had been with him for a long time and I thought it was my fault. Domestic abuse is a huge problem amongst young people (75% of 13-17-year-old girls experience emotional abuse from an intimate partner). It’s really important that young people know what it is and how to get help for themselves or friends.

Did you get funding for this event? and what was the process of getting the funding bid?

I got funding from Starbucks Youth Action. I saw one of their posters and applied not thinking I would get it! There was an application form with lots of questions about how your idea would benefit your community and young people and you had to plan your budget and the time scales of your project. Then in the second stage you were asked to pitch your idea to a panel of judges.  They (Starbucks Youth Action) have continued to support me since I got the funding.

What organisations attended the event?

 4YP Bristol, The Mentality Project, Avon & Somerset PoliceBrookNext Link  and many more!

How did you get these organisations interested in taking part in this event?

I emailed them and told them about the project, most of them were really interested in taking part. Then people put me in touch with other organisations they thought would be interested, it was like a snowball effect. Everyone was really helpful and enthusiastic about what I was doing. Organisations are often happy to support your work if they feel passionate about the idea!

How did you get young people interested in the Speak Out event?

We put out flyers in areas that we thought would be interested, like schools, emailed loads of organisations that worked with young people and got them to pass it on. One of the best ways is to use social media; I did a lot of tweeting to promote the event.

what do you see happening from now on with ‘Speak Out?’

I really want to keep raising awareness about emotional abuse and domestic abuse, I’m going to take the project into schools and different youth groups . We’ve designed a game about spotting the signs of abuse in a relationship using road signs like warning signs. I also hope to set up some sort of group for young people affected by domestic abuse to meet and support one another.

Do you have any tips for young people who want to start their own campaign?

Make sure you plan it carefully; if you can prove to people that you are serious about the campaign they often want to support you. Just believe in what you’re doing and keep trying different organisations to find support, reach out to people and keep talking about it! You will eventually find people who love the idea.

If you’re interested in the work Chlo does with Speak Out, have a look at their website www.speakoutproject.org.

Have you been affected by domestic violence, either emotion or physical abuse? Get in touch with any of the organisations below. They want to help you:


Off the Record

BAVA (Bristol Against Violence and Abuse