Protect, Promote and Improve
As part of the AVA project in South Yorkshire, one group set up their own group YWAVE, which stands for Young Women Against Violence Empowered. The group worked together to reach their overall aim of improving services aimed at young people affected by Domestic, Sexual and Teenage Relationship Abuse, and influence other young people and adults, by making them more aware of the issues. The group had all either had their own experience of violence and abuse or had a passion for supporting others who are affected by these issues. The group completed training around Domestic Abuse and an ASDAN Leadership Awards.
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‘Protect, Promote, Improve’ Campaign (PPI) – The PPI
The campaign aimed to:
- Encourage all people to do more to Protect Children and Young People from Domestic, Sexual and Teenage Relationship Abuse and Protect the current services and support that are there to help them
- Promote healthy and non abusive relationships and help young people understand what to do if they are worried about themselves or their peers, and Promote information about where to go and who to talk to if they need support
- Improve awareness of the issues and difficulties for children and young people living with Domestic, Sexual or Teenage Relationship Abuse, and Improve the services and support available to them.
The group consulted with young people and professionals through focus groups and questionnaires to find out about the services and support available for Children and Young People, focusing on what currently works well and what more help and support is needed. They produced a report to present to decision makers, service providers and commissioners, to highlight what they need to consider when making decisions about the services available to children and young people. They promoted current services and support available where identified as a need from their consultation, campaign for improvements.
The young people used their training and peer mentor skills by delivering educational workshops around healthy relationships to other young people in schools and colleges. The sessions were based upon the Home Office’s ‘Expect Respect’ Toolkit. These workshops aimed to reduce the stigma around relationship abuse and allow young people to understand the difference between Healthy Relationships and how to spot the signs of abuse. With this young victims who have grown up with Domestic or Sexual Abuse in the home or have experienced it in their own relationships may feel more confident in reporting the crime and be able to break the cycle of abuse. The group aimed to increase confidence within young people and their ability to discuss potentially difficult issues. Through this work YWAVE believe that more young people will have a voice and be better protected, thus reducing the risk of further incidents of violence and abuse.
As art of the project the YWAVE group had the opportunity to visit The Houses of Parliament in London with local MP Paul Bloomfield. The group took advantage of this opportunity by asking Paul Bloomfield a range of questions relating to support for Children and Young People in Sheffield and also around Domestic Abuse.