Marilyn’s training on Recognising Grooming Behaviours to Prevent Sexual Child Abuse exceeded our expectations and it was one of the best Insets we have had at our school. It is remarkably different from any other safeguarding training in terms of its preventative nature. Marilyn’s training is strongly focused on prevention, minimizing abuse and blending various approaches to convey the message of child sexual abuse and bullying. A mixture of role plays, slides, stories and statistics and direct communication with the audience, various props and unforgettable role plays with a teddy bear ensured that the message was understood and stayed strongly embedded in our minds.    Staff left the INSET equipped with newly-learned skills how to recognise grooming behaviours and bullying and felt enlightened and much more aware of grooming and abusive behaviours.  More importantly, Marilyn’s talk was highly effective in the way that it triggered serious responses from both professional and personal attendees plus numerous expressions of gratitude.

Marilyn is a truly outstanding speaker who managed to keep all staff, governors, teaching, boarding and support staff, fully engaged and attentive for three hours.  She ensured that the seriousness of the topic as well as emotional, revealing content was timely interrupted with light-hearted breaks in which Marilyn demonstrated a great sense of humour.  She is also very pragmatic in her approach and her arguments are always backed up with evidence and up-to-date statistics adding to the argument that bullying and child abuse are real and widely spread issues with long-lasting affect. However, Marilyn is very clear in her message that prevention and early intervention can make a very real difference to the future of a victim.

Just a few staff’s unprompted responses to demonstrate that Marilyn delivered an unforgettable, inspiring, educational and highly effective INSET for the Royal School:

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Marilyn's talk yesterday.  She was so engaging and it prompted a lot of discussion during the day!

Awesome session…

Thank you so much for arranging this INSET for us. It was so informative, and Marilyn was a great speaker; what a brave lady she is! It really shook us all up, but I suppose that's what is needed to make us all aware of what we need to be doing.

Thank you! What an amazing session.  Heart breaking, morbidly fascinating and a real eye opener.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it all afterwards and told my husband all about it in the evening and he was equally shocked and enlightened

Such a charismatic lady and an inspiration after all she’s been through.

Well done for sorting it!

Thank you for organising the session yesterday, it is one of the best (if not the best) training sessions I have attended.  Marilyn made it real, she was inspirational and very thought provoking and my head is now listening to my instinct and I hope that I don't let my logic get in the way!

23rd April 2016

Elena Hesse , PaedDr., MSc, Assoc. C.I.P.D
Head of Pastoral Care & Head of Boarding
Deputy Child Protection Liaison Officer
Farnham Lane
Haslemere GU27 1HQ

St Aubyns School, Essex
Parents Reference

I am writing to say a big thank you for taking the time to give your recent talk to us all at the school. I was so impressed by you and your lecture that I wanted to send you this mail which I would be entirely happy for you to use as a reference in either its original format, abridged or paraphrased, as you see fit.

I recently attended a seminar held at my daughters’ school where Marilyn Hawes from Enough Abuse lectured us on child safety. The seminar was in the evening, from 7pm until 9.30 pm and on my way there I was apprehensive. The very thought of this subject is enough to turn most parents’ stomachs and a 2 and a half hour evening lecture sat on hard, uncomfortable seats, wasn’t appealing but, I felt, important.

There were over 100 parents in attendance that evening and we are an impatient and restless bunch at the best of times, even when watching our own children’s school plays. Marilyn had said before she began that we should feel free to stretch our legs or take toilet breaks without asking, but she had us totally gripped from the very first sentence and not one person stirred for what ended up being closer to 3 hours.

Marilyn was amazing and addressed this subject with an honesty and gentleness that touched everyone. She left us all in no doubt of the danger out there but also left us feeling better equipped to protect our children, after all, if you don’t know what the danger is, how can you defend against it.

I am now convinced that this should be a compulsory seminar for all schools and all parents but, until that happens, I would urge you to do whatever you can to get to listen to Marilyn speak. After all, in the battle to protect your children, it’s far better to have the weapons but never use them than to be defenceless.

Ian Metcalf
Birchin Court, 20 Birchin Lane, London, EC3V 9DU Tel; 020 7377 8533
Haymarket Associates is an Independent Financial Adviser

Heath Mount School, Hertfordshire

Marilyn Hawes, CEO of Enough Abuse UK presented at our staff Inset programme prior to the Summer Term on raising awareness of behaviours surrounding all grooming and the impact of abuse and manifestation of associated behaviours in the developing child.

Marilyn’s delivery style was outstanding and the entire staff body were mesmerized throughout. Her knowledge and professional experience is exceptional. The training gave a genuine insight into behaviours and was extremely helpful in identifying the latest challenges and most up-to-date research.

Marilyn’s session with us provided our staff with a superb specialist professional development training opportunity in the crucial role that we all have to play in safeguarding our young people. We now feel confident that all of our staff are very well equipped, and have new tools and beneficial guidance, to ensure the very best outcomes for our pupils.

The school without doubt recommends Marilyn and the Enough Abuse UK training program to all schools.

Jonny Spowart, Deputy Head Pastoral, Heath Mount School

Dorset Councils Partnership

“Marilyn presents a powerful and difficult message from her own tragic; first hand experience, of the impact and devastation sexual abuse can have on the victims and their family. Her session does not pull any punches, and nor should it. It exposes the issue of sexual grooming in no uncertain terms. Whilst this can be difficult to hear, the impact is unforgettable. As local authorities with a lead role in safeguarding, it is important that we not only raise awareness of the issues but also equip our staff and partner agencies with the knowledge of how to spot sexual grooming, and crucially train people so they know what to do to stop this.”

Matt Prosser, Chief Executive of the Dorset Councils Partnership

Blackburn with Darwen Safeguarding Board

Marilyn recently delivered two three hour training sessions to a total of around 215
colleagues from across the range of LSCB partner agencies. Her delivery style is dynamic and engaging; her message hard hitting and very clear.

Colleagues gained a new understanding of the methods used by abusers in grooming children and their families and a clear insight into the prevalence and nature of grooming and abuse.

I would recommend Marilyn's training unreservedly to any LSCB or other child focused organisation wanting enable a greater understanding of the reality of child grooming and sexual abuse and exploitation."

Nancy Palmer, Independent Chair

ISA & Thorpe Hall School.

Marilyn Haws is a remarkable trainer. Speaking from her own painful experience she delivers training on safeguarding and the issue of grooming which is real, memorable and life changing. The session is chilling at times, yet always positive in its message that together we can tackle child abuse in schools. Marilyn is a crusader, taking on the myth that regulations alone will make children safer, calling on teachers to use their gut feeling as much as school policy to guide their actions. Teachers in receipt of this training feel empowered and confident to be able to spot signs of abuse; for some this a confirmation of their own experience of childhood, for others it is a shocking journey from naivety to worldliness. I cannot recommend her enough – every teacher should hear her speak.

Andrew Hampton, Headteacher, Thorpe Hall School, Essex
Chair of Independent Schools Association, 2014 – 2015.

International School Belgrade Serbia

Dear Marilyn,
This was one of the most meaningful, and visceral seminars I have had the opportunity to attend.
Despite the teaching acumen I have developed over the years; despite the many positive comments I have received from children and parents, your presentation confirmed that an essential part of my remit was sorely missing. I had little idea of much of what you demonstrated. Unfortunately, I was probably one of those administrators who felt they had in place the measures to protect children i.e. a list of objectives to support well-meaning aims. "Policy number 6 - tick"

However, it was illustrated very clearly to me that we need to have someone in our school, who can learn even more about how to identify and respond appropriately to children in need of intervention, before it is too late.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and insight. I can only hope that child sexual abuse, in fact, any form of child abuse, will be tackled as an issue in its own right, and not one to be used for political expediency. I wish you every success in your fight to protect those who do not have the means to protect themselves. With people like yourself, and organizations like 'Enough Abuse', we at least have some hope.

Peter Dowling, Director, International Primary School, Belgrade, Serbia.