Safer Young Lives is part of the Institute of Applied Social Research

MsUnderstood: building local responses to peer-on-peer abuse

MsUnderstood is a partnership between the University of Bedfordshire, Imkaan, and the Girls against Gangs project to develop local and national responses to peer-on-peer abuse.

The partnership has been funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Trust for London and the Samworth Foundation to develop safeguarding practice and policy in 11 local multi-agency partnerships across England. The work is being led by Carlene Firmin

The project will be delivering in-depth support in Barnet, Buckinghamshire, Camden, Croydon, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth and Sheffield until May 2016. The project team have also used the findings of site work to provide training and strategic advice to professionals in 54 local authorities across England as concerns regarding abuse between young people have increased over the past three years.  

Findings from the project have influenced the development of Pan-London and national policy, and are being used to develop theories of contextual safeguarding and adolescent child protection.

Outputs generated by the project, including practitioners briefings, and details of the works programmes being delivered in each site can be found on the project website MsUnderstood Partnership or by email

For up to date information on the project please follow us on Twitter @MsUnderstoodUK

The project has produced a number of publications including consultation responses and briefings - they are all on the project website

Thesis: Peer on peer abuse: safeguarding implications of contextualising abuse between young people within social fields


Safer Young Lives Research Centre
Institute of Applied Social Research
University of Bedfordshire
University Square