Derry children focus of new domestic violence project

Local young people who have completed the 'Heading for Healthy Relationships' programme with Youthlife, funded by the PCSP and delivered by AVERT Training. Included, are Tracey Healy, Business Development Manager with AVERT, Alderman Drew Thompson, Chairperson of the Derry PCSP, Claire McLaughlin facilitator with AVERT Training and Dermot Harrigan, Derry PCSP Manager.
Local young people who have completed the 'Heading for Healthy Relationships' programme with Youthlife, funded by the PCSP and delivered by AVERT Training. Included, are Tracey Healy, Business Development Manager with AVERT, Alderman Drew Thompson, Chairperson of the Derry PCSP, Claire McLaughlin facilitator with AVERT Training and Dermot Harrigan, Derry PCSP Manager.

A new project aiming to break cycles of domestic violence is being rolled out in schools across Derry.

The Derry Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) given its support a training education programme to schools and community groups throughout the city.

The Avert training programme, developed through Foyle Women’s Aid, is being delivered to primary and post-primary schools as well as a number of youth groups in Derry.

The primary school programme aims to help children aged between five and 11 to distinguish between right and wrong behaviour while developing their level of self-esteem and confidence.

The programme delivered to over 11-year-olds aims to provide a preventative approach to domestic violence/ abuse by enabling young adults to identify the early warning signs in unhealthy, abusive relationships.

Speaking on the programme Alderman Drew Thompson Chair of the Derry PCSP, said: “This is an extremely important programme for the PCSP to support as it provides early interventions to enable our young people to make informed decisions on relationships.

“Unfortunately our Council area has a high level of domestic abuse/ violence and we are hopeful that this programme can go some way to breaking this cycle.”

Tracy Healey, Business Development Manager with AVERT said: “We are delighted that the Derry PCSP is providing valuable support to enable the delivery of this programme.

“Through this support we have been able to deliver the training into five of our primary schools, three of our post primary schools and five community groups.

“The message we are sending out to these young people is that sexual and domestic violence is never acceptable and should not be tolerated.”