Young Derbyshire abuse survivors turn to music to recover

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A group of Derbyshire teenagers have written and produced songs as part of their recovery from abuse.

Ten teenagers aged between 13 and 17 have written and produced their own songs, as part of the Sound Sense Project.

The project, which is funded through the Ministry of Justice, supports young people who have experienced childhood abuse.

Each participant had a unique and moving story around their recovery journey including living with anxiety, depression, withdrawal from social activities and day-to-day living.

The power of music has helped young survivors with their feelings of low mood and anxiety, boosted their confidence and increased their ability to trust.

The youngsters have now released their songs on a CD, titled ‘Sometimes Safer', and were encouraged to document their emotions through music.

Participants took part in creative writing sessions and used computer technology to inspire and create music.

The lyrics on the album have all been penned by the participants using a variety of music genres ranging from rap to classical to convey them.

The music and lyrics are powerful reminders of the long-lasting impact of abuse and how brave and creative children can be helped to reconcile those feelings.

In total, the youngsters took part in 18 sessions lasting 2.5 hours.

Participants also received emotional support throughout the project from therapeutic workers including those from sexual exploitation support charity Safe and Sound and SV2 (Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence).

A child protection manager from Derby City Council was also at every session to support and deal with any further disclosures made.

Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner praised the achievements of a group of teenagers who have produced and written songs as part of their recovery from abuse.

The Commissioner met the young victims and their families alongside support workers at Force HQ in Ripley as part of a celebration of the project.

Mr Dhindsa said: "I'm very proud of everyone involved in this project from the volunteers and support workers through to the talented young song writers and their families.

"It is incredibly painful to revisit traumatic experiences from the past. Music and song have enabled these young people to open up and communicate in a positive and safe way to enhance the healing process and I'm pleased they have so readily grasped this opportunity.

"I'm very grateful to all the young victims who took part in Sound Sense and would like to praise their courage and bravery. This project has certainly been a two-way learning process and has highlighted once again the value in sharing experiences and using creativity to address emotional pain."

Councillor Evonne Williams, cabinet member for children and young people said: "The Sound Sense Project has provided a really valuable outlet for these young people, who have undergone such traumatic experiences.

"I'm very grateful to our dedicated Child Protection team who supported the young people throughout, what I'm sure, was a very emotionally difficult process."

Feedback shows the project has improved the young people's coping mechanisms and provided a therapeutic outlet for buried or repressed feelings, with many reporting it as a cathartic experience.

https://soundcloud.com/user-345355155/sets/sound-sense-sometimes-safer-1