Children aged 5 to fifteen to have violence prevention classes
Within the next 18 months domestic violence will be as much as part of the curriculum as Science and English. The new government scheme aims to help children between the ages of 5 and fifteen understand and tackle violence against women and girls and classes are soon to become compulsory.
Childrens charity NSPCC undertook research which showed that a quarter of teenage girls suffer from physical violence such as being punched or beaten by their boyfriends. The research also revealed that a third of those in a relationship suffer an unwanted sexual act.
As well as the introduction of compulsory lessons on how to develop mutually respectful personal relationships the government have also promised funding for a 24 hour helpline and the development of a separate dedicated stalking and harassment hotline.
Schools minister Vernon Coaker said that the lessons would be “age appropriate” so that what was taught to a five-year-old was not the same as to a 15-year-old. New teacher training measures would also ensure that school staff know how to deal with girls they identify as being affected by sexist, sexual or transphobic bullying.
The scheme will be accompanied by an advertising campaign which is aimed at tackling the attitude amongst some teenagers that violence in relationships is justified, as well as sending the message to young girls that violence does not have to be tolerated.
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