Denton Community College pupils are helping to raise awareness of a domestic abuse campaign that highlights controlling and coercive behaviours.
Tameside Council's Sitting Right With You Domestic Abuse Awareness campaign was launched in response to controlling and coercive behaviours accounting for more than half of domestic abuse referrals in Tameside last year. The campaign highlights different types of domestic abuse, not only physical violence, and encourages people – including young people – to think about what a healthy relationship looks like.
A group of pupils from Denton Community College approached Tameside Council as part of their GCSE Citizenship Project, questioning what actions were being taken to tackle misogyny and sexual harassment within our schools. As a result of this, pupils and staff are supporting the Sitting Right With You campaign to raise awareness, highlight to other students what healthy relationships look like and show pathways for support if they are experiencing abuse. Pupils have also helped to put up posters and share social media sharing the campaigns messages. The campaign has also been shared in secondary schools, Ashton Sixth Form and Tameside College.
The Sitting Right With You campaign features a yellow sofa placed in different Tameside locations, including outside Clarendon Sixth Form. The campaign aims to get people of all ages comfortable talking about domestic abuse and encourage people who are concerned for themselves or someone else to seek help. It is being featured on buses, roadside railing banners, beermats and posters in pubs, posters in community settings, social media and online and newspaper adverts to help reach as many people as possible.
Controlling what someone wears, their money, where they go and who they talk to are all damaging and unacceptable types of abuse. The campaign includes messages such as 'he checks my phone all the time', 'she has control over my money', and 'they control who I see and where I go' to prompt people to think differently about what makes a healthy relationship.
The most common type of domestic abuse is male to female, from a current or ex-partner, but people of all gender identities and ages can be abusive or experience abuse.
Tameside Council Executive Member for population health Cllr Eleanor Wills said: "We aim to make domestic abuse everyone's business in Tameside and this includes young people – who can so often be affected by domestic abuse – be it as a person using harmful behaviours, victims or as family members. It's important we educate young people on what a healthy relationship does and doesn't look like and let them know that there is help and support available if they are concerned for themselves or someone else.
"My thanks goes to the pupils and our local colleges and schools for helping to share the campaign and raise awareness."
For information on the support available see www.tameside.gov.uk/domesticabuse or you can call Bridges 24 hour helpline on 0800 328 0967. In an emergency, you should always call 999.