Home Children and Young People Breaking the cycle of violence against women and girls
Cllr Powell at Lord Derby Academy

Breaking the cycle of violence against women and girls

by Alison Cornmell

Knowsley Council has commissioned specialist training to educate young people on the importance of preventing violence against women and girls.

Delivered by local charity, CELLS (Choices Education Lifelong Learning Skills), secondary schools across the borough have received the training with Lord Derby Academy in Huyton recently having a session which was attended by Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods.

The sessions form part of a wider programme of activity in Knowsley that addresses the safety of women and girls at night. This extensive programme of activity is funded by almost £190,000 from the Home Office.

A number of other initiatives are also being delivered in the Borough to raise awareness of this important issue including:

ASK FOR ANGELA
The Ask for Angela scheme invites women to ask for ‘Angela’ if they feel unsafe when on a night out –  bar, restaurant, taxi companies and security staff in Huyton Village Centre and Prescot and Kirkby Town Centres will then be able to help. Read more about the scheme here. 

LOCAL POLICING
Significantly the funding is being used to increase policing resources, specifically during the evening in Huyton, Prescot and Kirkby where there is a growing night-time economy.

EDUCATION IS CRUCIAL
As well as addressing incidents as they happen, education is a crucial element of the how the funding is spent in Knowsley.

Cllr Powell explains:

“Ensuring women feel safe in Knowsley is a key priority for us. Working with young people is helping to raise awareness of this key issue and is helping to educate them on the importance of the safety of women – teaching them about respect and the impact of certain behaviours. By working with our young people, we are ensuring long-term, positive change and hopefully break the cycle of violence against women and girls.

“As well as raising awareness around this important issue, it’s also important that we tackle incidents as they happen and have on site support, so women feel safe when enjoying our town and village centres at night.

“I was really pleased to attend one of the sessions we’ve commissioned and get a first -hand understanding of how we are working with young people to ultimately create safer communities for all our residents.”

CELLS deliver sessions to students at Lord Derby Academy

CELLS have also visited the following schools to deliver training:
All Saints Catholic High School
Kirkby High School
Alt Bridge School
Meadow Park School
Lord Derby Academy

Shaun Glanville, Manager CELLS, said:

“Our training has been developed specifically to engage with young people and is delivered by specialist facilitators. It asks participants to reflect on the risks to women and girls and their understanding of what harassment and intimidation means and the affect this behaviour can have. It encourages self-respect and the respect of others and so far, has had an encouraging and positive response. We hope this training has a lasting legacy that supports the wider work Knowsley Council is delivering.”