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Domestic Abuse Fractures Lives

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Healthy Relationship Programme

    Loves me...Loves me not?

Domestic abuse affects children from every background, race and class.  You may not know about it, but it does not mean that it's not happening.  The damaging effects of domestic abuse can be long lasting and impact on every area of the lives of children and young people.

Living in a home where there is domestic violence can be very stressful for children and young people and it affects their health and education in many ways - they may be truanting to try and protect their mum, they may be tired and late for school, they may be avoiding PE as they have bruises on their arms.

Raising awareness about domestic abuse is not just to help those who are directly affected now - young people often form their first relationships at school and, sadly, without better prevention, in the future 1 in 4 of female pupils will find themselves in an abusive relationship.

Choices  have developed their own healthy relationship programme   'Loves me...Loves me not?' which provides age-appropriate lesson plans for young people aged from 11 upwards.  It challenges assumptions about gender, power and equality and hopes to change beliefs and attitudes about men and women.  It also teaches young people to manage conflict and accept responsibility for feelings and behaviour and to know the difference between a healthy and a non-healthy relationship as well as giving out the message that domestic abuse is a crime.

What Schools & Teachers can do

In a safe, structured, learning environment, schools can:- 

  • Support children to seek help and safety
  • Help challenge and prevent abusive behaviours
  • Model and promote healthy, non-violent relationships

The lessons have been written using themes that have been found to be effective in addressing domestic abuse, including:-

  • Knowing the difference between abusive and non-abusive relationships
  • Managing feelings and accepting responsibility for one's own feelings and behaviour
  • Changing beliefs and attitudes about girls and boys, men and women
  • Helping to resolve conflict
  • Challenging assumptions about gender, power and equality
  • Promoting the consistent message that abuse is not acceptable
  • Understanding that domestic abuse is a crime
  • Highlighting the role of peers in providing support
  • Giving information about where to get help
We believe that by working with children and young people now, we will reduce the amount of domestic violence in the future. We want to support pupils who are currently living with abuse, either at home or in their very first relationship.

Contact Choices to find out how we can work with schools or youth organisations to introduce the 'Loves me... Loves me not?' healthy relationship programme. We have worked in junior and senior schools and feedback has been extremely positive.  We are also happy to train school staff to increase their awareness of domestic abuse as in addition to increasing their knowledge this will enable them to fully support the programme.

For further information contact our Young Persons Outreach Service on 01474 352552.

The healthy relationship programme 'Loves me ..Loves me Not' which we deliver in schools was originally funded via the Big Lottery from May 2012 to April 2015.   The funding enabled us to employ a Young Persons Outreach Worker  and since May 2015 this post has been funded by Comic Relief.