The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit is funding a schools based initiative that  aims to tackle domestic abuse across Barnsley and Sheffield.

Haven,  working in partnership with IDAS are  providing a ‘whole school’ approach  encouraging children, young people and school staff to adopt an approach which is aimed to raise awareness and understanding that ending domestic and sexual  abuse is everyone’s responsibility.

Sam Goulding, IDAS Regional Manager said “We aim to raise awareness of the signs of abuse and empowering people to intervene safely where appropriate.

“We want to prevent domestic and sexual violence and abuse (DSVA) by challenging the ‘Bystander’ culture that exists.  Too many people find themselves condoning the actions of the perpetrator.

“By raising awareness of healthy and unhealthy relationships and helping young people to develop their knowledge and skills to make more positive choices, they can learn how to access help and support and spot the signs of domestic and sexual violence abuse.

The £38,360 funding will provide a pilot scheme to provide a model that will work in eight primary and secondary schools across South Yorkshire. This will consist of four schools in Sheffield and four in Barnsley.

The scheme will support children & young people to understand more about healthy relationships and friendships and how to develop the skills to make more positive choices.

Children & young people will also learn how to get support for themselves and others by learning how to intervene safely as an active bystander. Included in the whole school approach, training will be provided to teachers and school staff to develop an understanding of how domestic abuse can effect children and young people by raising an awareness of the impacts of ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ (ACES) in the development of Children.

By increasing confidence in identifying the signs and indicators of children witnessing domestic abuse, schools have a greater opportunity of adopting  a ‘Trauma Informed Approach’ to their engagement with that child. .

Haven and IDAS are working in partnership to use best practice and deliver the incentive across both Barnsley and Sheffield.

Superintendent Lee Berry, Joint Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “Working with young people to tackle domestic abuse is crucial in the work we are doing to prevent and reduce violence.

“The Violence Reduction Fund was not only about providing funding to organisations and community groups within South Yorkshire, but it was also a way of encouraging them to work together and share best practice.

“The work IDAS and Haven are doing in schools in Barnsley and Sheffield is forming a solid foundation in providing young people with information to protect themselves and professionals with the support that they need to address this important issue.”

Angela Greenwood and Mark Miller recently visited Sam Goulding from IDAS in their Sheffield offices to hear about how the initiative was getting on.