Women’s Aid launches healthy relationship Expect Respect toolkit on Valentine’s Day as part of Yves Saint Laurent Beauty’s Abuse is Not Love programme

On Valentine’s Day, the national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid will launch a toolkit to help children and young people recognise the key warning signs of abuse and promote healthy relationships, as part of Yves Saint Laurent Beauty UK’s Abuse is Not Love programme.

The Expect Respect Healthy Relationship Toolkit produced by Women’s Aid is a prevention toolkit to hold conversations on the root causes that lead to violence, as well as educating children and young people on gender-based violence. Designed for schools and work with children and young people in communities, it is also freely available to download.

The Expect Respect Healthy Relationship Toolkit  is one of the first steps in Yves Saint Laurent Beauty’s global programme to prevent Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and transform the culture of inequality and violence.

The global programme – called Abuse Is Not Love – aims to combat Intimate Partner Violence globally, and through ngo partnerships to educate 2 million people by 2030 to work towards long term eradication of abuse. its non-profit partners: Women’s Aid England in the UK, as well partnerships with En Avant Toute(s) in France and It’s on Us in the U.S. With 10 more partnerships to be announced this year.

IPV is a major societal issue: approximately one in three women will experience Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in their lifetime [i] and only a small proportion of survivors will obtain justice.

IPV includes controlling behaviours, and physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse by a current or former intimate partner. One woman is killed by her partner every three days [ii] in the US, UK and France. IPV affects individuals from all socioeconomic, religious, and cultural groups.

However, women are most at risk, with the highest rates among young adults aged 16-24. IPV Violence prevalence rates have increased by 30 to 60 per cent as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic [iii].

Thanks to the partnership with Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, there will also be an opportunity when downloading the toolkit to register to become an Expect Respect Advocate and receive free training to use the toolkit, as well as support from Women’s Aid, and a professional network to share best practice.

Amna Abdullatif, Women’s Aid children and young people’s officer and Expect Respect toolkit officer, said

“We know at Women’s Aid how important it is to educate young people about what a healthy relationship looks like. As we head towards Valentine’s Day, the shops will be full of cards and flowers, but they are not true indicators of love or a respectful relationship. We know from survivors that abusers often ‘love bomb’ potential partners with roses and other gifts at the start of the romance. In these cases, the attention is excessive and obsessive, accompanied by pressure to rush through the early stages of the new relationship. Grand gestures with gifts of high worth can be used as a device to control. We want children and young people to know what a healthy relationship is, and for young people to recognise the signs of control and abuse in a relationship, and know how to seek help and support.”

Nicki Norman, acting chief executive of Women’s Aid said

“Early conversations with children and young people are vital to helping them understand what a healthy relationship is. Evidence shows that both boys and girls are unsure of what is acceptable – let alone what to do if they experience behaviour that scares or harms them. The Expect Respect toolkit will give professionals easy-to-use tools to have important conversations in age-appropriate ways and will play a crucial role in preventing Intimate Partner Violence in future generations.”

Emily Byrne, YSL Beauty UK&I General Manager said

“At YSL Beauty, love is a key value that inspires us. The ABUSE IS NOT LOVE program is not only about fighting abusive relationships, but also promoting healthy relationships.  We know that love can be a powerful force that can bring so much to people, and if we can teach our young people and role model healthy relationships, we hope to see a positive change in the future. Expect Respect, the name quite literally, means that. In love, we need to expect respect, just like we need to know that abuse is not love. Together we can act to prevent intimate partner violence.”

Alice Liveing, Women’s Aid Ambassador said

“When I was in my first relationship aged 16, I was abused both physically and mentally. No-one ever tells you that abuse happens to people of that age, but it does. I wish I had been taught this at school and had known about the red flags to watch out for. That is why I am thrilled to be supporting the launch of the Expect Respect Toolkit – young people need to be educated about what is a healthy relationship.”

[i] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women
[ii] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-46292919 and https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49586759
[iii] https://madame.lefigaro.fr/societe/violences-contre-les-femmes-a-lheure-du-confinement-une-forte-augmentation-des-signalements-120420-180685
[iv] https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/faqs/signs-of-abuse

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