Renfrewshire’s young people have been joining the call for an end to violence against women and girls through the Young and Equally Safe in Renfrewshire campaign.
During the 16 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, a United Nations campaign that runs every year in November and December, Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services and schools have been talking to young people about tackling gender-based violence.
It included special lessons for older pupils in primary school, such as learning about gender equality. These topics were suggested by young people at the Youth Assembly held last year, with many saying they wanted their young peers to have more knowledge on gender-based issues.
Young people at Trinity High School, Renfrew, also showcased their work to speak out against violence as part of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) initiative in schools.
An intergenerational podcast involving the Paisley Soroptimists and young people to support discussions between adults, older adults and young people on safety and violence prevention.
At the recent Reclaim the Night event, young people proudly showed off their handmade banners and signs to call for an end to violence young people can and do experience. Community-based youth groups also took part in samba drumming workshops so they could play drums at the event.
Photo: Youth Residential where banners and signs were created for Reclaim the Night
One pupil from West Primary said: “I enjoy these sessions as they were fun and make me more confident because I know more on what we were talking about.”
Another young person who attended a workshop on gender-based violence said: “It’s something that isn’t spoken about enough, so having the chance to express our views is always good.”
Communities and Housing Convener, Councillor Marie McGurk, said: “Listening to our young people and ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to prevent violence will hopefully mean fewer young people will experience domestic and relationship violence in the future. It’s about educating young people and adults about behaviours that aren’t acceptable and perpetuate social norms that enable violence against women and girls.
“The work of Young and Equally Safe and the youth assembly held last year on the topic has been vital to ensuring we as a council put in the resources young people need. Our Youth Services team and schools continue to work with young people to help educate and provide the resources they need to ensure everyone, regardless of gender, are equally safe.”
The Young and Equally Safe project is funded by the Scottish Government and a Delivering Equally Safe grant.
People can visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/2123/Domestic-abuse for help and advice on domestic abuse.
Young people can visit https://young.scot/campaigns/thatsnotok/ to find more information and guidance.