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Domestic abuse prevention education: listening to the views of young people

Fox, CL and Hale, R and Gadd, D (2013) Domestic abuse prevention education: listening to the views of young people. Sex Education: sexuality, society and learning, 14 (1). pp. 28-41. ISSN 1468-1811

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Abstract

This paper reports on findings derived as part of a two-year project funded by the European Union’s Daphne III scheme, involving collaboration between seven partner organisations across six European countries. The project involved an evaluation, using questionnaires and focus groups, of domestic abuse prevention education programmes delivered in schools in the UK, France and Spain. This paper presents the findings from the UK focus group discussions, conducted with young people aged 10 – 11 years, and 13 –14 years to explore their opinions about the intervention delivered in their school. The focus groups revealed the following challenges for service providers in this area: young people can misunderstand issues related to domestic abuse, especially the role of power and control within relationships; there is a tension between educators giving young people free expression to share their opinions and challenging sexism and other prejudices; and boys can become disengaged with gender-based interventions. These issues point towards three key considerations when implementing a domestic abuse prevention education intervention: programme content (the what); the teaching methods used (the how); and whether teachers or external organisations should deliver the programme (the who).

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