Women’s Aid Leicestershire works to improve the lives of victims affected by all forms of violence and abuse. Their work covers these key areas:
- Preventative work: covering awareness raising sessions and delivering training, campaigning and contributing to consultations by central and local government
- Crisis intervention: providing safe, temporary accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence along with support for high risk cases including sexual violence
- Support: outreach, resettlement, helpline and family/children’s support service provision.
£3,000 was awarded to the group from Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation in April 2015. Funding covered the delivery of school-based learning sessions that raised awareness of domestic violence and controlling behaviours. Sessions also promoted healthy relationships.
Pamela Richardson, Chief Executive at Women’s Aid Leicestershire said, ‘Working in partnership with Soft Touch Arts we delivered 20 sessions of awareness training to school children in Leicester City and Leicestershire. This was aimed at years 5, 6, 7 and 8.
The training was devised to make young people aware of abusive behaviours in friendships for years 5 and 6 and relationships for years 7 and 8. The content of the training was to identify what abusive behaviours were, how they may present themselves in friendships and, then as young people get older, in relationships.
At the end of the session we would then look at possible actions the young people could take to help them to leave an abusive relationship and where to look for help with this. Information was also given on services that were available for domestic violence in their areas. Teachers were also given the information of specialist support services to ensure that students that needed support were able to access them.’
Further to these sessions, young people now have an awareness of abusive behaviours and are able to make informed choices about how they can feel and stay safe.
A young person who attended the sessions said, ‘I’ve learned that there is more to an unhealthy relationship than I thought and lots of different reasons for it to be unhealthy.’
Another said, ‘a healthy friendship is when your friend doesn’t insult you or pressure you into anything and instead respects your decisions.’
More information on the work of Women’s Aid Leicester can be found on their website here: http://www.wa-leicester.org.uk/
If you would like to set up your own fund that works to support similar charities and groups in the local community, contact Katy Green, Chief Executive at Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org & 0116 2624 916.