The Island’s Domestic Abuse forum will be marking the International Day to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Monday 25 November) with an exhibition of artwork by Carisbrooke College and Sandown Bay Academy pupils at the Quay Arts Centre in Newport.
The exhibition titled ‘Survive’ aims to focus attention not just on the scale and impact of domestic abuse – nationally two women a week are murdered by current or former partners – but also on the fact that many victims do survive the experience and with support can move on to have safe and healthy relationships.
Statistics from the British Crime Survey show that young women between 16 and 18 are the group of people most at risk of domestic abuse, rape and stalking. Teaching young people about healthy relationships in schools is acknowledged to be central to reducing domestic abuse and the acceptance of such abuse in the next generation.
Gill Bushell, head of personal, social and health education at Carisbrooke College, said:
“I cannot stress enough the importance of education on this subject in schools. This is the second year that we have focused specifically on the issue and feedback from the students has been extremely positive.
“I would encourage other schools to get involved with this work. It is an extremely sensitive issue but we work hard to ensure that support is available to students before, during and after the event by either our pastoral team or through members of the Island’s Refuge Team.”
Fleur Gardiner, domestic abuse coordinator at the Isle of Wight Council, said:
“A whole Island approach to educating young people is vital if we are to make real progress against domestic abuse.
“This work takes time to embed, but if we can address abuse and violence in our community in a consistent way then the next generation can only benefit from our efforts.”
The exhibition runs from 25th November to 7th December in the Rope Store Gallery and will be formally launched on the evening of the 25 with a private view and a spoken word performance at the Quay’s Acoustic Originals evening on the same night.