From Gangs to Changing Lives

Listen to Hezron’s powerful story about why he joined a gang, and the moment leading up to his 2-year suspended sentence – the trigger for turning his life around.

Preventing Violent Extremism: Taking an Intersectional Approach

Of all the safeguarding strands, for some, it is not an exaggeration to say that policy and practice around Prevent can be perceived as stigmatising, scary and ineffective. We’ve seen cases where policy has been mis/translated into discriminatory practice. And we’ve seen cases where responses to legislation such as the CTSA 2015 Prevent duty are […]

Is joining, surviving and leaving a gang that clear-cut?

Narratives of redemption are rarely straightforward.  In the short film of Hezron recently released  by ConnectFutures, we hear of his journey from a gruelling, brutal childhood, through homelessness, a criminal record, to gang membership and violence and finally to his current role as ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and mentoring young people. It is not all grim.  […]

Counterterrorism And The Death Penalty -Kotey and El Sheikh

A leaked letter by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, in which he says the UK will demand “no assurances” that two suspected IS members will not be executed in the US, has caused a debate about the death penalty and the UK’s counterterrorism approach. In this blog post, Dr Jennifer Philippa Eggert explains why Javid’s position […]

“Where is it safe to stab someone?”

What would you say if a young person asked you this question?  At a BRAVE (building resilience against violence and extremism) training session with a year group of teenagers in a secondary school in Birmingham, questions were invited.  A genuine query from one was ‘where is it safe to stab someone?’ They thought there might be parts […]

My Son joined ISIS: Unravelling the web of deception in radicalization.

On 1st June 2015 Rasheed Benyahia, aged 19, travelled from Birmingham to Syria to join Islamic State.  Within 6 months he was dead.  In the film just released My Son Joined Isis, his mother Nicola Benyahia tells his story and hers.   It is a gripping narrative, with the recurrent pounding questions – how is it that nobody knew?  […]

Comment: Crime and punishment: what to do with returning foreign fighters?

Is the issue of joining terror groups and the repercussions of facing justice clear cut?  Should individuals taking up arms with ideological aims – and who may have broken the law – face trials in the country they’ve been captured in, face justice at home, or should we deport them to Guantanamo Bay as Trump […]

Challenging extremist views or beliefs that leads to violent sexual crimes

A survivor of the Rotherham child sex abuse case speaks. Sexual and gender-based violence is used as a tactic of terrorism, by a range of today’s violent extremist groups. Religious ideals of purity, virginity, modesty and obedience are taken to the extreme, mixed with power, politics and ideology, until sexual violence and horrific exploitation become […]

Q+A Factsheet: What should teachers do in the event of a terrorist attack?

In light of the Manchester terror attacks, how should schools and teachers respond when there has been a terrorist attack in UK or elsewhere?  Students will be asking questions, talking among themselves, talking with families.  Schools cannot ignore events, however controversial and disturbing it is to raise them.  Here’s our top tips. SIX SUMMARY POINTS […]

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