Our national project, Speak Now, aims to prevent forced marriage and other forms of modern slavery in the home, through education, awareness-raising and collaboration with service providers, frontline communities and young people from across Australia.
Forced marriage, and other forms of modern slavery in the home, can happen to anyone from any background. These practices are often hidden and misunderstood, but can have devastating consequences for the individuals, families and communities affected. Best practice research and experience tells us that the most effective approach to achieving positive change is through community engagement and capacity-building.
Speak Now’s participatory approach strives for the genuine inclusion of diverse experiences and perspectives. We recognise the complexities and misconceptions around forced marriage in particular, and aim to address these through meaningful engagement with young people, communities and others whose voices are often excluded from these conversations. By working with young people, communities and service providers from across Australia, we hope to raise awareness around forced marriage and other forms of modern slavery in the home, and build their capacity to respond to these situations in their everyday lives.
Following our extensive consultations with frontline workers, young people, people with lived experience and community stakeholders across Australia, we have launched a series of free and publicly available resources.
We thank all of our partners, expert reviewers, Speak Now Youth Ambassadors and people with lived experience who contributed to these resources:
1. Frontline Worker Guide
Our digital Frontline Worker Guide provides practical guidance on how frontline workers can identify, respond to and support people experiencing forced marriage. Click here to read the Frontline Worker Guide on the My Blue Sky website.
2. Free online course for frontline workers – ‘Modern Slavery in the Home’
Our free online course, ‘Modern Slavery in the Home’, teaches you about how modern slavery can take place in a home and how to respond to the different types, including forced marriage, domestic servitude and human trafficking. The course is self-paced and features interactive activities, case studies and expert interviews. Click here to enrol on UTS Open.
3. New ‘My Blue Sky’ website
My Blue Sky is run by Anti-Slavery Australia and is Australia’s national forced marriage service. Following extensive user testing with young people, community workers and forced marriage experts, the My Blue Sky website has been redesigned to be more user-friendly and accessible. The website now has a live chat and tailored information for people in or at risk of forced marriage, as well as friends, family members and frontline workers. Click here to check out the new website at mybluesky.org.au.
4. Free community resources
We have created a community poster and a youth poster to raise awareness about people’s rights around marriage, and inform them of the support available through My Blue Sky. The community poster has been translated into 18 community languages.
We have also created a discreet My Blue Sky business card with key referral options for people in or at risk of forced marriage.
Click here to download the community poster (English version).
Click here to download the youth poster.
If you are a frontline worker or service provider, you may request free printed copies of these posters and business cards to display in your workplace or give out to the people you assist. Click here to request the printed resources.
We are looking to collaborate with people who are interested in forced marriage (or other forms of modern slavery in the home), including those who have encountered these issues or or think they may in the future – whether in their professional, personal or family life.
Do you work in one of the following areas?
- Secondary or tertiary education
- Youth work
- Health, including the disability sector
- Family and domestic violence
- Migrant and refugee settlement
- Faith communities.
If so, we would love to collaborate with you on strengthening capacity in your organisation or sector. Please express your interest via the contact details below.
Are you a young person aged 16–23 or do you work with young people in this age group?
The Speak Now online youth campaign has now concluded. If you are interested in learning about future Speak Now youth activities, please express your interest via the contact details below.
If you work with young people, you can also get involved in other aspects of the project by expressing your interest via the contact details below.
Do you have experience or an interest in forced marriage, whether personal or professional?
We welcome anyone with experience or an interest in forced marriage (including survivors, family members and community leaders) to potentially contribute to our project. To discuss how you can get involved, please express your interest via the contact details below below.
To learn more or express your interest in Speak Now, please email ASAresearch@uts.edu.au or call (02) 9514 3834.
We are committed to inclusive practice and welcome participants from diverse genders, sexualities, ages, abilities, cultures, ethnicities and religions.
Speak Now is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.
All information gathered as part of this research project will be handled in accordance with strict confidentiality, ethics and child safety measures.