Pupils to tackle domestic violence

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Workshop day © Tender charity

Workshop day © Tender charity

A London-based charity has teamed up with Liverpool John Moores University to work with school pupils across Merseyside and deliver anti-bullying programmes to prevent abuse in relationships.

Domestic violence charity Tender will be running its Healthy Relationships Project on a national scale this year and will be working closely with schools in Liverpool through arts and theatre to raise awareness of violence.

Tender’s National Partnership Coordinator, Bernie Coote, said: “We run 10-hour workshops with a group of young people, in general in years nine to eleven. Some of the issues we look at are what makes a healthy-unhealthy relationship, early warning signs such as isolation, control and excessive texting or communication.”

LJMU has been selected to work with Tender based on its experience of working in the arts with schools and young people and experience in the field of domestic violence and gender-based violence.

The LJMU project team is lead by Dr Kay Standing from the school of Humanties and Social Science. She feels that gender violence is a growing issue in society and that the work Tender does will enable teachers to combat abuse among students and maintain a safe environment in schools

A Big Lottery grant of £88,000 has been awarded to the Tender National Partnership Programme to allow the charity to extend its work outside London over a three-year period and work in six schools each year.

Bernie Coote, said: “Exploring these difficult subject matters by using a difference voice often creates a safer environment for self-expression around these topics. To be able to play somebody else, particularly for those who have had first or second hand experience of violent and unhealthy relationships, gives them the opportunity to both distance and engage themselves and each other on the topic.”

She added: “Peer-led education is a really effective way of sharing these messages and when seen live is often extremely visceral and can prompt in-depth, discussion that may be difficult to develop if approached from a different angle.”

Schools wishing to participate in the Tender project can contact Dr Standing to discuss how they can get involved – telephone: 0151 2315114 or email: k.e.standing@ljmu.ac.uk

About Sara Ainsworth, JMU Journalism