Schools prevention programme for Devon!

SAFE have teamed up with Tender who are a London based charity to deliver ‘The Tender Healthy Relationship Programme’ that has been run across London for the past 10 years. Tender aims to encourage boys and girls to develop healthy relationships based on respect, trust and equality and to be active citizens in creating communities that do not tolerate violence against women and children. So, is there a need for this type of programme?

The need...

  • Domestic violence and abuse affects young people, with those aged between 16-24 (Home Office) are at greatest risk of experiencing violence and abuse in their relationships.

  • One in three teenage girls has experienced sexual violence from their boyfriend (NSPCC; 2009)

  • Sexual bullying and harassment are routine in UK schools. Almost one in three 16-18 year-old girls have experienced ‘groping’ or other unwanted sexual touching at school (YouGov; 2011)

  • 44% of young people have themselves experienced one or more of the following behaviours in a relationship: being yelled at, humiliated,hit, kicked, slapped, pressured into having sex, pressured into getting married, threatened or checked-up on regularly (Tender; 2011).

Looking at the statistics there is arguably a need for SAFE to deliver this type of project in Devon schools.

The aims of the project are to:

  • To educate young people about violence and abuse in relationships. 
  • To challenge young people’s attitudes that condones and conceals violence in relationships.
  • To enable young people to feel supported and to use support services if they, or someone they know, is experiencing abuse. 

How do we achieve this?

This is achieved through delivering open, creative, drama-based workshops that explore the healthy and unhealthy aspects of relationships, empowering students to consider their attitudes and behaviour in a mature and safety-conscious way. Drama has a distancing effect whereby young people can explore the emotions and decisions of characters rather than focusing on their own personal experiences. Tender uses theatre and drama techniques that create a safe space in which young people can practice strategies for negotiating, explore consequences and enjoy participating. There is a short film that demonstrates the project with this link:

Prevention is better than cure....

There is then, a real need for SAFE to undertake this crucial prevention work and the Tender Healthy Relationships project has been shown to have a positive impact with the young people they have worked with. The evidence suggests that after taking part in the project

  • 98% of young people can name at least one early warning sign that a partner might be violent or abusive,
  • 91% knowing that apart from self-defence, violence in a relationship is never ok,
  • 82% feel able to help if a friend is in an unhealthy relationship. 

SAFE Future?

SAFE have been able to secure funding for this much needed work, and we will be able to deliver this project free of cost to 4 schools this year.  However, to make this vitally important project sustainable, and deliver to another six schools next year and the year after further funding will be needed. With YOUR help we can help young people stay safe and help them to identify unhealthy behaviour and seek help and support therefore providing a SAFE future for the next generation. 

PREVENTION of violence and abuse saves money, hurt and lives.