Safer lives, safer schools: tackling domestic abuse through co-production

Spotlight on a co-production case study. Jan Pickles of NSPCC Cymru  writes about…
Safer lives, safer schools: tackling domestic abuse through co-production

Over 100 pupils from Michaelston Community College and Glyn Derw High School in Cardiff worked with us in NSPCC Cymru to co-produce a domestic abuse and sexual violence awareness-raising event. These are tough schools in areas with a high prevalence of domestic abuse. We had two aims; to raise awareness within the schools, and to ensure that the voices of the young people were heard in the consultation on the Violence Against Women & Girls and Domestic Abuse White Paper.

Initially, we worked with 25 fifteen- and sixteen-year old girls, supporting them to design and present a whole day event in their schools for year 10 pupils. The pupils themselves decided what they needed to know about how to keep themselves safe in relationships, how they wanted to be treated and how they thought they should treat others, and helping us to co-produce the content.

The event itself, run jointly by Jan Pickles from NSPCC Cymru and Siriol Burford Deputy Head, had a huge impact on all participants, including the Welsh Government officials and staff from Hafan Cymru who attended.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the realisation of how their behaviour and language affected the girls led to three boys from year 10 asking the Deputy Head for support to run a similar event, specifically targeted at year 9 boys.

The young people who led the day were energised by their achievement, and by the realisation that they could make a difference. They have a new-found confidence and a desire to change the world – and they are already planning future events.