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Safeline’s Prevention & Early Intervention (P&EI) team partnered with director Alice Johannessen and producer Molly Young in the production of their BFI Network funded short film ‘Barricade’ in July 2022. The film is now in its festival run, screening at the Women X Film Festival and the Academy Award Qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival.

Alice Johannessen, Director/Writer, and Molly Young, Producer, collaborated with Safeline to create the short film, ‘Barricade’, to address sexual harassment and assault experienced by young people in schools, promoting a culture of zero tolerance to this form of abuse. ‘Barricade’ presents the story of a teenage girl, Aleena, who experiences a traumatic event on her school bus. The film follows her initial response to the event and how after a chance connection she instigates a small act of rebellion

Since its production, Safeline’s P&EI team have used ‘Barricade’ as an educational aid in their schools’ projects. Presented in secondary schools, the team have used the film to have open discussions about sexual abuse and keeping safe. In March 2023, the team showed the film in schools to over two hundred students.

On the distribution of the film, Safeline’s Head of P&EI stated:

Safeline have adopted a whole school approach to tackling sexual harassment and sexual abuse with Barricade forming an essential part of the delivery plan.

Safeline Prevention Team with Barricade Team

After these discussions, the P&EI team encourage the students to have a say in their schools’ safeguarding, with the Head of P&EI adding that “Following the film, students create a Student Safeguarding Forum where they have the opportunity to voice their concerns and staff in school are able to react promptly and effectively to any occurrences.”

Alongside distribution in schools, the short film is currently in its festival run, where it has screened at the Academy Award Qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival. ‘Barricade’ has also been nominated for the following four awards at the Women X Festival, where it will be screened in September 2023:

  • Best Producer
  • Best Director
  • Best Writer
  • Best Ensemble Cast

On Saturday 5th August 2023, the P&EI team attended a cast and crew screening of the short film at The Mockingbird Cinema, The Custard Factory, in Birmingham, where the team contributed to a panel discussion about the reception of the film in schools. In which, they shared snippets of feedback they received from 170 students.

Barricade cast and crew at the film screening on 5th August 2023.

“I think the film is very helpful because it shows how easily sexual assault and harassment can be pushed aside and not dealt with correctly. It also shows that people will stand up for their peers eventually.”

“The Barricade film is a good representation of situations at school, important to talk about especially in a school environment.”

“I learnt that sexting isn’t a normal thing, it happens so much it’s normalised.”

“Today the lesson helped me because no one should experience any kind of sexual abuse or assault. It made me realise what to do if something like this happens to others.”

To find out more about the comprehensive range of prevention/early intervention projects provided by Safeline, click on the link below.

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