Learning

Learning about Violence Against Women and Girls.

Creating opportunities for children, young people, staff and parents to learn about Violence Against Women and Girls will prevent future violence. There are three key learning objectives that we have identified through our work with partners across the UK:

AWARENESS: To increase knowledge of Violence Against Women and Girls, including a shared understanding of the experiences of girls and young women

ATTITUDES: To start to change attitudes that normalise and condone Violence Against Women and Girls.

ACTIONS: To build the skills to recognise and start to challenge Violence Against Women and Girls.

How to learn about Violence Against Women and Girls:

This section outlines guidance and information for you to develop and deliver work to increase awareness, challenge attitudes and build actions to stop Violence Against Women and Girls.

Children and young people learn about Violence Against Women and Girls.
Staff training about Violence Against Women and Girls.
Parents/carers learn about Violence Against Women and Girls.
Learning ‘what works’ from the prevention programme.

You can also look at the resource database to search for relevant, age-appropriate and active learning materials.

How to create safe and supportive learning opportunities:

It is important to focus on delivering a safe and supportive education programme that embeds safeguarding principles across everything that is done.

First, conduct a simple risk assessment to identify potential risks and put things in place to mitigate against them. Some risks to think of:

  • Do you think that any of the participants in your session are experiencing any forms of Violence Against Women and Girls? If yes, ensure staff are familiar with the workplace policy, the child safeguarding policy and that the named Child Protection lead has been notified. You may also want to notify the school nurse and the staff of any on-site counselling provision.
  • Are there any parents who might resist the delivery of the programme? If yes, think about what you can do to engage the parents and gain their support.
  • Will group discussions of some subjects lead to people being bullied? This could potentially be a risk but you will need to prepare carefully and use your skills to negotiate discussions. Also set clear ground rules and enforce them if rules are broken.

Then ensure that you understand and follow the safeguarding section of this website.

Preparation:

Take time to think about the needs and the experiences of the group. Consider what you want to achieve in the session, what learning outcomes you are keen to develop, and build a session plan that responds to this. Ensure that you understand the subject and know how to facilitate respectful and effective activities. You might want to check out any training opportunities that may be available locally. The VAWG / Domestic Violence Co-ordinator in your local authority may be able to help you with this. Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards also often offer training on VAWG / domestic violence.

Delivery:

Before you begin, agree a code of conduct with the group, focusing on being respectful, the limits to confidentiality (if any education professional is concerned that a child or young person is at risk of harm then they are duty bound to report this to someone), listening to others and that if anyone feels upset by the subject they can take some time out. Also, agree what to do if anyone breaks the code of conduct and implement this if there are any incidents. Remember to highlight the code of conduct at the beginning of all sessions.

During the delivery work with the group ensure the active participation of all, but allow people to opt out of activities as this is a sensitive subject and some children may not be able to participate. Make sure that you can differentiate the activities to suit different abilities and learning styles. Take time to make sure everyone understands the main points or the instructions to do an activity.

Keep an eye open for any potential warning signs or things that you are concerned about. Make a note of anything and be sure to follow it up afterwards.

Challenge any discriminatory or abusive conduct or words within the session. It is important that you communicate consistent messages.

Close the Session:

Sum up the main points of the session and ask for feedback. Try to gather information or use the monitoring and evaluation tools to find out about evidence of impact on learning outcomes.

Most importantly, hand out leaflets or helpline information to all participants in the session. Make sure that everyone knows who to contact within the local organisation or online or by phone if they have anything they want to talk about.

Follow up:

Reflect on how the session went and think about how to improve the next session or how to extend the learning of the group.

Be sure to take some time to consider your own response to the session, it might well raise things for yourself that you need support for. This is a sensitive subject and you will need to look after yourself. Find someone that you can talk to and ask for supervision support if you need it.

Remember to follow up on any issues that concerned you. If you feel that anyone is at risk make sure that you follow the local child protection policy and procedure.

Drip feed:

One off activities delivered with no follow up or development will have a limited impact on the children and young people, staff and parents/carers. A sustained drip feed of messages will reinforce the learning. For example a rolling programme of activities can take a young person or staff member through from increasing their awareness of different forms of violence against women and girls, to being able to understand how to seek support or deliver lessons themselves.

It is very important that all staff and the organisational culture have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to sexism. This includes, challenging sexist jokes or language.