Behind Closed Doors

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Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors is a simulation devised by the University of Kent Centre for Child Protection in partnership with the Home Office and young people.   This serious game simulates social media online environments for two different characters – Maryam and Joe.  Real life news clips from Sky news and the BBC open each scene and offer the opportunity to discuss complex topics in relation to radicalisation and British Values.  This simulation is based on published research, case studies and expertise of an inter-professional learning set of expert advisors, including Kent Police, Kent County Council, the Home Office, National Counter Terrorism Policing Network, as well as consulting with young people in the UK.  Educating young people to understand radicalisation, what it is and how it can happen, is a key step in prevention. Using various recognisable types of social media, Behind Closed Doors illustrates how young people can be vulnerable to being groomed for radicalisation by people they know, as well as contacts they meet online . We know from recent research (Pearson, E. & Winterbotham, E. (2017) Women, Gender and Daesh Radicalisation. The RUSI Journal,162:3,60-72) that radicalisation takes place more frequently online for women rather than men and that Daesh are particularly successful in radicalising young Western girls to travel to Syria. They continue to use the same grooming techniques to target young people, although they now, additionally, radicalise for terror attacks in the West. The two main aims of the simulation are to offer the opportunity to look at ‘grooming’ in the process of radicalisation using a social media simulation for young people and to allow educators to offer a safe space for discussion with young people on many of the complex issues that arise from the subject.

Other useful sources of information:

Ali, Mah-Rukh (2015) ISIS and propaganda: How ISIS exploits women Reuters Institute Fellowship Paper University of Oxford

Badran, M. 2006 Women and radicalisation. Danish Institute for International Studies.

Bloom, M., Horgan, J., Winter, C. Depictions of children and youth in the Islamic states martyrdom propaganda 2015/2016

Brown, K., & Saeed, T. (2014) Radicalisation and counter-radicalisation at British Universities; Muslim encounters and alternatives. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38:11, 1952-1968

Copsey, N., Dack, J., Littler, M., and Feldman, M. (2013) Anti-Muslim Hate Crime and the Far Right Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies

Davies, L. (2015) Interrupting Extremism by Creating Educative Turbulence. Curriculum Inquiry 44:4.

Jacobs, R. (2015) Daesh and social media platforms.

Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., Vincent, J., Mascheroni, G. and Olafsson, K. (2014) Net children go  mobile: The UK Report: London, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Ofcom (2016) Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2015

Ofsted How well are further education and skills providers implementing the Prevent duty?


Reeves, J., Soutar, E., Green, S. and Crowther, T. (2017) Children and young people’s vulnerabilities to being groomed; what can be done? In: Çetinkaya, S. ed. Contemporary Childhood. InTech. ISBN 9789535158165.

Sieckelinck, S., Kaulingfreks, F. & De Winter, M. (2015) Neither Villains Nor Victims: Towards an Educational Perspective on Radicalisation, British Journal of Educational Studies, 63:3, 329-343

Weedon, C. (2015) Stuart Hall The British multicultural question and case of western jihadi brides. International journal of Cultural Studies. Sage Publications.

Other References

NSPCC Why radicalisation is a child protection issue

Educate against Hate


Hope not hate


Home Office Individuals referred to and supported through the Prevent Programme, April 2017 to March 2018

Cyber-Grooming Young Women for Terrorist Activity: Dominant and Subjugated Explanatory Narratives  Susan S. M. Edwards

Department for Education Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory guidance for and colleges. (2014).