The We Exist Too research project spearheaded by our founder Rianna, aims to understand the sexual health behaviour and attitudes of Black women in the UK.

Unfortunately, women of colour experience negative reproductive and sexual health outcomes in addition to barriers accessing sexual health and reproductive healthcare some of which include, difficulty negotiating condom use, increased rates of domestic violence, language barriers, concerns about confidentiality  and stigma.  

We Exist Too – 100 Voices emerged during Rianna studying for her Masters in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

Here, she undertook a qualitative systematic review which aimed to understand that factors that influence emergency contraception uptake among black Caribbean women in the UK. This was inspired by the data  collected from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL) 3 which revealed that the use of Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) was most commonly reported among Black Caribbean women in the UK.

However, out of nearly 10,000 research papers on emergency contraceptive use worldwide, only 14 papers were relevant.

This was because, the research papers she found during her search

– Were outdated

– We’re not conducted in the UK

– And most importantly did not exclusively represent the voices of black women

This has encouraged her to collect the data on the lived experience of black women in the UK in relation to sexual health which she hopes will help to feed into the work done by other organisations and community groups across the country. 

We Exist Too – 100 Voices – Black Women’s Sexual Health Attitudes and Behaviour aims to look at a range of topics such as Emergency contraception, but also other Contraception methods, Pleasure, Sexual and Domestic Violence, STIs and HIV, Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Care, Substance Use and more.

We are aware that a collaborative effort is needed to continue this work, with this in mind, some of our colleagues who are doing similar work include

Naz Minority Trust

Decolonising contraception 

Forward UK

If you are doing similar work in this area and would like to do some collaboration, feel free to contact us.

About Shine Aloud

We are a youth led social enterprise that aims to provide creative solutions to address sexual health inequalities among marginalised groups!