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News

03 October, 2019

Welsh Women’s Aid supports the mandatory learning about healthy relationships for all schools.

Today the Welsh Government has released a consultation to seek the views of parents, learners and professionals in Wales regarding ensuring that all children have full access to the new curriculum, including Religious Education and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE), from 2022.

Gwendolyn Sterk, Head of Public Affairs and Communications at Welsh Women’s Aid states, “Lessons on consent, relationship abuse, sexual equality and respecting diversity and tolerance are vitally important to ensure all children have the opportunity to grow up in a safe and equal society.

“The Welsh Governments move to make this compulsory is a positive step towards eradicating violence and abuse in our schools and communities. We know that almost 20% of younger students aged 11-14 in Wales have experienced verbal abuse in relationships at least once or more, which rises to almost 40% of students aged 15-16.  We also know that up to 1 in 5 girls at secondary schools in Wales report they’ve experienced unwanted touching, groping or kissing by a boy whilst in school at least once[1].”

“It’s vital that children and young people have age-appropriate relationships and sexuality education, and have access to high-quality learning and support about equality, safety, sexual consent and healthy relationships.

“This education must be delivered, as part of a whole education approach[2], by trained and skilled teachers, in partnership with domestic abuse and sexual violence specialist services in their local community.”

The Whole Education Approach[3] features nine key elements to tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV), which advocates the need for parents, carers and family members to be engaged and learn about all forms of abuse in order to support the well-being of children and young people. Schools also need to be better equipped to engage with pupils, parents and staff, and make sure there are clear routes to access support in the local community.

Removing the opt in/opt out system of RSE and embedding it within the curriculum as a core component will, in itself, contribute towards changing the culture of silence around all forms of abuse.

RSE is a key tool in keeping children safe from abuse and promoting a Wales free from violence and abuse.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

  • To arrange interviews, contact Gwendolyn Sterk 07375 559518 or email [email protected]omensaid.org.uk
  • Anyone in need of help, information and support in Wales can call Wales Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 for free and in confidence, at any time of day or night. Support is available in Welsh, English and other languages (through LanguageLine), Typetalk and Text support is available, as is 24-hour Live Chat. http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/what-we-do/our-services/live-fear-free-helpline/
  • Welsh Women’s Aid is the Wales umbrella body for violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence specialist services in the third sector in Wales. Our aim is to end such violence and abuse and ensure survivors have access to high-quality, needs-led and strengths-based support so that they can live safe, healthy and equal lives free from abuse. We act as the voice of the specialist sector to influence and improve policy, legislation and practice for the benefit of survivors, working in partnership with services, survivors and other stakeholders to end to violence against women in all its forms.
  • More information is available at http://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/

[1] School Health Research Network survey of 35,071 students from 87 secondary schools in Wales (SHRN, 2015).

[2] Good Practice Guide: A Whole Education Approach to Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, Welsh Government, 2017:  https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/522394/A-Whole-Education-Approach-to-Violence-Against-Women,-Domestic-Abuse-and-Sexual-Violence-in-Wales.pdf

[3] Good Practice Guide: A Whole Education Approach to Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, Welsh Government, 2017:  https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/522394/A-Whole-Education-Approach-to-Violence-Against-Women,-Domestic-Abuse-and-Sexual-Violence-in-Wales.pdf

It takes strength & courage to report domestic abuse to the police & it’s vital women are believed & receive an effective response. When public services fail to safeguard women they must be held to account for their inaction Support @centreWJ action here crowdjustice.com/case/policea…

About 2 days ago from WelshWomensAid's Twitter