London, UK

Building Healthy Relationships for Violence Prevention

GMSP partner with Tender to work with primary school children in London. Using theatre and the arts, Tender engage young people in violence prevention workshops, enabling them to recognise and avoid abuse and violence.

GMSP believes that engaging young girls and boys is crucial to making a long term change in violence against women.

An example of a 2-day project with a school is as follows:

Primary Projects explore the topic of healthy relationships through looking at good/bad friendships and children’s rights. Tender also address the importance of respecting others’ personal space, and understanding safe and unsafe touching via the NSPCC’s ‘Underwear Rule’, further information about which can be found online here.

The second day of the primary project focuses on one of three culturally specific issues, as chosen by the school: Forced Marriage, ‘Honour’-Based Violence or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). These topics are sensitively addressed in a non-exposing, age-appropriate environment by introducing children to a fictional character their own age who is experiencing or has family members experiencing the chosen issue, and encouraging students to offer them advice.

“A good friend is someone who is caring who plays with each other. A good friend is someone who helps when you need help to do something. That is being a hero to your friend.” Male, 9 years old, George Eliot Primary School

“The material was covered in a very sensitive, safe way and led appropriately. I really would have been very happy for all three of my children to have been provided with the opportunity to have been educated and involved in this type of session, especially at primary level where they are within the safety net of staff they feel comfortable with and trust within a small group, compared to how it could be at secondary school. It developed an awareness and knowledge of healthy relationships in a very gentle way, with no ‘loss of innocence’”
– Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, Richmond Primary School