Preventing abuse through creative projects
From a report by Tender
Tender is a charity working to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people. Their work supports young people to build healthy relationships: preventing them from becoming victims or perpetrators of abuse and equipping them to have relationships based on equality and respect.
They do this in primary and secondary schools through theatre-based education to learn about relationships.
Tender’s mission is informed by continued evidence that domestic and sexual violence are highly prevalent issues in young people’s lives. 16-25 year olds are widely recognised as the age group most likely to experience an abusive relationship (SafeLives, 2019) and estimated 2.4 million people aged 16-74 years in the UK suffered some form of domestic abuse between 2018-2019: 1.6 million female victims and 786,000 male victims (ONS, 2019).
In primary schools, they build strong foundations through exploring healthy friendships and family relationships. They develop these skills further in secondary schools and youth settings, where we focus on healthy intimate and romantic relationships. They also provide training and resources for professionals working with young people, including whole school approaches to preventing abuse.
Their programmes are safe, enjoyable, age-appropriate spaces where young people can engage with sensitive topics and “rehearse” for real-life scenarios. Participants are encouraged to be both consumers and producers of learning through script-work, role-play and creative media such as films and art. They enable young people to explore their choices, rights and expectations in relationships and to recognise the early warning signs of abuse.
Evidence shows that those who engage in theatre-based education to learn about relationships are more able to apply the learning to their everyday lives, compared to traditional lessons (PEACH, 2017). It also allows for the following advantages:
Environment– Exploring sensitive topics through characters and role-play allows young people to learn about issues from a safe distance without feeling targeted or pressured to share personal experiences.
Empathy– Drama and art enable participants to experience how it feels to be ‘in someone else’s shoes’, creating a platform where participants engage emotionally as well as intellectually and develop core life skills such as confidence, communication and trust.
Engaging– Role play and active participation are extremely effective learning techniques for young people and aid them in retaining key information whilst enjoying the learning experience.
If you are involved in a school, what about investigating a project? Also could this be used in a youth church setting?
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