Domestic Violence: local, national and international
Element 2, Key issue 1Element 1, Key issue 1
Element 1, Key issue 1
Element 2, Key issue 3
Element 3, Key issue 2
Key Skills opportunitiesCommunication
(Potential for ICT.)
The students were introduced to the topic of domestic violence by means of a competitive team quiz which tested their existing knowledge and perceptions. The questions were devised by staff, using statistics from Home Office research studies, available free from www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds, and the book by Jayne Mooney, Gender, Violence and theSocial Order. (ISBN 0-333-91886-X.)The competitive element added interest to the statistics, which provided a rich source of information for the group discussion that followed.
A speaker from Amnesty International gave a presentation/workshop on domestic violence and explained the variety of types of domestic violence. Students worked in groups with different given scenarios, each of which were associated with a different type of domestic violence. She used cards with the groups to trigger their response to the kinds of words and actions that may be used by abusive people.The Cachez campaign launched by Amnesty was also viewed on Amnesty's website. This is an awareness raising campaign about public perceptions of domestic violence and the way society often ignores it as a taboo. The groups shared their findings and aired their views in a plenary discussion.(In this session in the previous year, local women's refugee organisers delivered a workshop on local problems.)
A local policeman, who is the community link with the college, delivered a two-hour workshop. He described the typical circumstances under which the police would become involved, and showed documentation which police officers would complete in such cases. Using role-play, he explained some of the challenges which exist for the police when intervening in domestic violence incidents.
The issue of how victims often do not want to go forward with prosecution was also discussed and he described the ways police try to take on the spot statements.In groups, the students were given scenarios and asked to suggest what the police would do in the given scenario.
Students were engaged especially by the case studies and the local dimension to the session. They were particularly struck by the issues victims face when considering whether to report crimes against them.
This session was planned to inform the students of the domestic violence problem in the wider world, although this session was not exclusively about domestic violence. An extract from The Guardian supplement of 31/3/03 was used as a source of information, as it focussed on the findings of a book about the lives of women world-wide - The Atlas of Women, byJoni Seager (Women's Press).
The supplement was copied for students to read as a basis for discussion. Members of staff contributed to the discussion with personal experiences of living in Saudi, and also working within a multicultural community, where issues like work placement for girls posed problems which may not have to be considered by our students on placement.
The issues discussed included the perceived dangers to unsupervised females in some cultures where women are seen as needing protection from men. Our students live in a semirural environment, or in a small town, or the small city of Chester, and found the session broadened their understanding of cultural values which are different from their own.
(Presentations to student groups, and written articles, could provide further evidence for the Communication Key Skill.)
Telephone calls - approx.2 hours in total
Preparation of in-house materials: 4-5 hours
Long-term planning - 2 months in advance
Each session = 1.5 hours