Safer Futures is a national project that builds networks between local schools, specialist domestic violence services and Local Authorities to ensure that healthy relationships education is delivered responsibly and effectively.
Supporting children and young people to understand and recover from their own experiences is a fundamental part of preventing abuse.
“As a child I experienced my Mum going through domestic violence for 10 years. If these things were spoken about in school then it would allow children to open up and ask for help. I remember feeling very embarrassed as a child to talk to anyone about what was happening at home.”
– Child survivor
The Safer Futures project consists of a national team of Women’s Aid Schools Advocates to provide in-school support for teachers to deliver lessons using the Expect Respect Education Toolkit (see below for more information).
The project aims to create a consistent and regulated approach in supporting schools to address domestic violence drawing on the expertise of specialist practitioners who are trained in this area. Safer Futures ensures that, nationally, every child and young person would be able to access healthy relationships education, rather than it being a postcode lottery.
In addition, the aims of the Safer Futures Project are to:
• Provide professionals working in local domestic violence services with the tools and training to better support their local schools
• Help teachers to feel confident in delivering lessons about domestic violence using the Expect Respect Educational Toolkit.
• Encourage young people to build healthy, respectful relationships, and identify abusive behaviours in themselves and others.
• Enable local domestic violence services to raise awareness and become further embedded in local communities.
Women’s Aid Schools Advocates (WASAs)
WASAs will form part of a nationwide network to provide in-school support for teachers to help them deliver lessons on healthy and respectful relationships.
If you are a school and you would like to know who your local Women’s Aid School Advocate is, please email the National Schools Engagement Officer, Amna Abdullatif: [email protected]
If you would like to find out more about becoming a WASA, please contact Amna about attending one of the workshops below:
Tailored workshops are available for services interested in running the training for their staff, a minimum of five people are required. Please contact Amna for details.
Resources for teachers
The Expect Respect Educational Toolkit consists of one easy to use ‘Core’ lesson for each year group from reception to year 13 and is based on themes that have been found to be effective in tackling domestic abuse.
Although the Expect Respect Education Toolkit is targeted for use by teachers within schools, it can just as easily be used by a range of other professionals working with children and young people in a variety of settings such as youth clubs or play schemes.
You do not need to download the whole toolkit. You can just download the introductory section and the year that is appropriate to the age group you are working with.Educational Toolkit