Our Chair of Trustees, Helen Easton, is currently a research consultant focussing on desistance from crime, prostiuttion, and violence against women. She was previously a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at London South Bank University and part of the Crime and Criminal Justice Research Group.
For over ten years Helen has worked on a number of projects involving women exiting prostitution and women offenders. She has worked with women’s services in England, Scotland and Ireland to examine the needs and experiences of women transitioning out of offending. Notable examples include evaluating the Chrysalis Project, which has been held out as the gold standard of exiting provision (find out more here) and, alongside Lisa Young and Roger Matthews, a large study of 114 women from across the country who were involved in on and off street prostitution and with women who had been trafficked into prostitution.
This high profile "PEER" research on their views and the process of exit, conducted by London South Bank University and Eaves Housing for Women, has been published as a book entitled "Exiting Prostitution: A Study of Female Desistance" (Matthews, Easton, Bindel, and Young 2016). Watch a video here of Helen explaining the findings of her exiting research here.
She has also worked with the Scottish Equality and Human Rights Commission on research examining the experiences and needs of women trafficked into Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Scotland (available here). Through her involvement in these studies and her direct fieldwork with women involved in and exiting prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation and the services that support them Helen was invited to give oral evidence at the recent All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and The Global Sex Trade the findings of which were presented in March 2014.
Helen presented the findings of the PEER research at two conferences held at London South Bank University in November 2012 and December 2013. At the earlier of these conferences, one of the speakers was a woman who had successfully exited prostitution. It was her bravery, her eloquence about her isolation and her passion to let other women know it was possible that inspired discussion about setting up a network with the aim of bringing together academics, practitioners, policy makers, and individuals who were working together to eradicate commercial sexual exploitation as opposed to normalising and allowing harm to continue.
Carolann Nesbitt has been involved in providing support services for vulnerable people for over thirty years and for women affected by commercial sexual exploitation for over twenty years, including survivors of trafficking. She is the Service manager for CSG/ TARA and has overall responsibility for the operation of the service which helps to identify and support women who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Carolann has significant expertise in the provision of service provision and has dedicated her career to the eradication of commercial sexual exploitation.
Kate Whiting is an accomplished manager with expertise in operations and financial management within charities and the arts. She has over fifteen years of professional experience in administration and an academic background in mathematics, having worked in both the commercial and publicly funded sectors. An experienced leader, Kate has been the CEO of a theatre company, managed council run services, regional theatres and unconventional spaces, and has considerable experience in governance, finance, strategy, marketing, and staff management.
A special thank you to Laura López, who kindly donated her time designing and creating the SASE logo
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Helen Johnson Director
Dr Helen Johnson is responsible for governance, strategy, operations, fundraising, resources, and project and research delivery at SASE. She has over 10 years experience in law, policy, and the the third sector, including project management, mixed methods research, analysis, advice, advocacy, and capacity building. She has a PhD in Criminology and is a fully qualified barrister. Her PhD explored how to offer emotionally intelligent service provision As well as being Director of SASE, she is a research and project management consultant, as well as offering group and one-to-one career and lifestyle coaching.
Helen has particular experience investigating the needs of service users and how best to offer sustainable service provision and/or develop stronger policy frameworks. She has done extensive work on influencing law, policy and practice in relation to a number of social issues, in particular relating to equalities and gender. She has been responsible for the management and design of a range of research projects that incorporate both qualitative and quantitative elements and has conducted evaluations of a range of services, with a particular focus on exit and desistance.
Lisa is an accomplished and experienced researcher and project manager. Currently responsible for managing a range of research projects and evaluations of service provision at a Third Sector Consultancy, she previously worked at Eaves as a Research and Development Consultant specialising in exiting prostitution and delivering training to build capacity to deliver exiting services. She also has experience delivering front line services for people who experienced drug and alcohol problems, those involved with criminal justice services, and women involved in or seeking to exit prostitution.
Lisa is passionate about ensuring women are proactively offered support to exit prostitution. Lisa became involved with SASE in order to establish positive contacts with other services and individuals keen to promote exiting focused support, to learn from others and also share her knowledge and expertise in this area
Lisa was one of the researchers involved in the PEER research on exit that has made a significant contribution to our understanding of exit and commercial sexual explotiation.
Professor Roger Matthews is a leading scholar on the subject of prostitution and has lead on high profile research, particulalry the PEER research that gathered the views of 114 women across the UK on their experiences of exit and their needs relating to service provision.
Roger is a Professor of Criminology at the University of Kent where he is involved in lecturing on a range of criminological issues including prostitution, research methods and criminology. His work can be characterised by the drive to eradicate exploitation in all its forms, particularly commercial sexual exploitation.
He is the author of "Realist Criminology" (Palgrave Macmillan 2008), co-author of "Exiting Prostitution: A Study in Female Desistance" (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and editor of "What is to be done about Crime and Punishment?" (Palgrave Macmillan 2016). He has also authored several peer reviewed articles on different aspects of prostitution and was advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution between 2014-15, contributing to the Parliamentary Report "Shifting the Balance".
Although a small team, SASE works with a range of volunteers and services across policy, law, and the third sector to promote high standard work that aims to eradicate commercial sexual exploitation. We consider our network to be part of our team and we hope that they see us the same way. Part of our work is to expand the capacity of all individuals and organisations to further the aim of eradicating harm and we could not do this without the energy and commitment of our wider community.