Solace highlights role of education in ending abuse this International Youth Day

Our award winning prevention work with young people educates them about the impact of abuse and violence and youth offending. This International Youth Day we are highlighting the importance of putting education first. Last year we reached over 4900 young people across Haringey and Islington with our 3 core prevention models; the Whole Schools Approach, Protect our Women and Hear2Change.  

Whole Schools Approach

A newly launched project that works with all the students at the school, the teachers and other professionals to learn the signs and impacts of abuse, and how to respond them. This means that the whole community will feel empowered to make changes in the face of domestic abuse, and know what to do when it happens. 

Protect our Women (PoW) 

This ten week healthy relationship works with young people from communities where abuse and violence is a concern, or on groups demonstrating perpetrating behaviours. The interactive workshops engage young people in honest conversations around VAWG, so that they can grow up understanding what constitutes a healthy relationship.

“Solace opened my eyes and made me see that domestic abuse is a very hard and stressful situation and is not easy to get out of…. I would suggest Solace’s programme to all my friends because they need to treat women and girls with respect because we are all equal. They also need to know how to treat their wives properly and not to hurt or abuse them.” A 14 year old male participant of PoW who’d previously displayed perpetrating behaviours.

Hear2Change

This project is led by a steering group of young people who are trained to understand the effects of VAWG in their communities and develop training and campaigns to change the conversation among their peers. This year they launched “Let’s Talk Boys, Boys Let’s Talk”, a campaign to tackle gender stereotypes in their community as they recognise that VAWG is a direct result of gender stereotypes and inequalities. Working with young people is our hope for the future and they never cease to amaze us. 

Shauna’s Story

Shauna was 15 years old when she was introduced to Solace’s Young Person’s Advocate. She joined Hear2Change when she was told about the chance to go to Brighton on our residential, she had never been outside Islington before. She became a dedicated member of the team in 2017, and worked hard to tell more people about the impacts of domestic abuse.  

In 2019 Shauna won the Ben Kinsella Award, commending her for making a real difference in her local community.  She won this prestigious award for championing women’s rights, mentoring young girls about violence against women and her volunteering with Solace Women’s Aid.

We celebrate International Youth Day by supporting the work of organisations around the world working in their own ways to transform education and the young people who lead and drive their own educational initiatives.

Final word goes to…

'We have grown up in a generation where we normalized, accepted and tolerated VAWG. The ‘Leaders4Change’ Program has given us the opportunity to have open and honest conversations about gender stereotypes, sexual consent, the different forms of VAWG across the world and the different forms of abuse that takes place in unhealthy relationships. We have decided that now we know better, we must do better, we are protectors not abusers.’ Young Person’s Advocate (working with boys) 

International Youth Day

12 August was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999, and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.