Seeking to underpin its commitment to address teenage relationship abuse, the Government changed the definition of domestic violence to include 16 and 17 year olds and coercive behaviour in March 2013. The aim was to raise awareness of teen abuse amongst practitioners and police, and prevent young people from falling through the gap between child protection and domestic abuse services. We hoped this change in legislation would provide opportunities for partner agencies to identify this ‘hidden group’ placing them firmly on the ‘radar’ of services such as The Hampton Trust so we could provide help and support to address the complex issue of abuse in teenage relationships. We still believe these young people are falling through the gaps and are actively seeking to address the issue.
Adult domestic violence prevention programmes are not suitable for young people due to differing developmental stages and maturity levels. The YRADAR (young people raising awareness of domestic abuse in relationships) programme is a flexible programme designed to engage young adults affected by domestic abuse. We strongly feel that young people must be equipped with an understanding of healthy relationships, consent, non-violence and gender equality, and to be able to easily access information, guidance and support when needed.
We have experience of engaging young people spanning over two decades and we continue to listen as they disclose adverse childhood experiences. It is clear how this has shaped their understanding of an intimate relationship. These stories have informed the material we have put together for the 12 week experiential YRADAR programme.
We support young people who have recognised (or not) that they are using abusive behaviours in their relationships. Following assessment, we offer a mix of group and individual work. Using a trauma informed, strengths based approach weekly sessions cover the following topics:
Perception, domestic abuse, anger and positive communication, adverse childhood experiences, socialisation, sexual respect, jealousy, emotional abuse, mental health, self-esteem and support.
Please see details of a pilot project with Southampton Family Nursing partnership engaging young dads. We would be keen to progress this work with other local nursing partnerships. RAY Dad’s Group Report (1)
The Family Nursing Partnership features on page 13 of the Solent NHS Sine Magazine. ShineJan2017FIN (1)