New youth-led campaign aims to tackle peer sexual abuse and harassment

Young Women Know is a youth-led campaign that began in Tayside with the 'Oor Fierce Girls', 'Bold Girls Ken', and 'Brave Lassies Blether' projects.

NSPCC Scotland and The Young Women’s Movement have launched a campaign that aims to tackle peer sexual abuse and harassment across Scotland.

Young Women Know is a youth-led campaign that began in Tayside with the “Oor Fierce Girls”, “Bold Girls Ken”, and “Brave Lassies Blether” projects, which focussed on young women creating resources on healthy relationships, safe spaces, and consent.

Following the success over the past four years of these local campaigns, supported by Angus Council, Perth and Kinross Council and Dundee City Council, the Scottish Government’s “Delivering Equally Safe” fund has been extended to roll-out the work nationally.

The young women involved have been at the heart of leading these campaigns over the past few years.

Highlights have included hosting and speaking at many high-profile events including at the V&A in Dundee, Perth Art Gallery, Montrose Football Club and Angus Town and County Hall in Forfar and widespread media coverage by newspapers, TV, and radio.

Seven new Young Women Know “champions” have been appointed from across Scotland to lead the new national roll-out of the campaign, alongside some of the young women who led the Tayside campaigns.

They will host workshops in schools, colleges, and youth groups to share the co-designed resources and raise awareness of what a healthy relationship looks and feels like.

In addition, a special event, sponsored by MSPs Maggie Chapman and Monica Lennon, was held at the Scottish Parliament last week to celebrate the extension of Young Women Know from Tayside to the rest of Scotland.

Ashley Henderson, who has been involved with “Oor Fierce Girls” from the beginning, was thrilled to be chairing the Parliament event.

Ashley, 19, from Dundee, who is now studying English and journalism at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, said: “I jumped at the chance to be involved in a campaign to encourage healthy relationships, it’s a cause that has always been and still is very close to my heart.

“It was such an honour to be asked to chair because I feel so passionately about this and can talk about it for hours.

“Being involved with Young Women Know and the NSPCC has made me to gain way more confidence and helped me to get into university.

“Before I joined, I was a terrible public speaker and now I can do TV interviews with journalists I’ve never met before and speak in front of large audiences!

“This has been such a big part of my life, so I plan to stay involved with the rollout of the national campaign in Glasgow.”

Carla Malseed, NSPCC Scotland kocal campaigns officer, said: “We launched this during the pandemic, when everything was online, so it’s all changed dramatically since then.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is how confident and articulate the young people are and the high standard of their work. It has been incredible to see what they have achieved.

“Getting to this stage is amazing, it’s nice to see so many of the young people grow in confidence.

“I’ve been completely blown away by how much they have been able to do, how confident and knowledgeable they have been and how well they have worked together to go out and deliver change.

“They have never been frightened to have uncomfortable conversations within school settings and with politicians.

“It’s so exciting to see the campaign being rolled out nationally now. We have some strong messages from these young people and brilliant resources and this next stage will be about testing these and finding out what works best across Scotland.”

Jenni Snell, CEO of The Young Women’s Movement (YWM), said: “Peer sexual abuse and harassment continues to harm young women and girls’ lives across Scotland. Working with young women to lead the campaign development and delivery has been pivotal to ensuring that the content is engaging, relevant and impactful.

“The roll-out of the campaign nationally by the Young Women Know Champions will enable us to reach a wider audience of young people, parents and educators to effectively tackle this issue and create a safer Scotland for young women and girls.”

For more information visit:

Young people looking for support on any of the issues mentioned, can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit

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