YMCA launches Respect project to tackle youth domestic abuse
YMCA launches Respect project to tackle youth domestic abuse

YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has launched Respect, a Big Lottery Funded programme, which aims to raise awareness of and support those affected by youth domestic abuse across the region. It is now open for referrals.

Delivered through group work and workshops, Respect seeks to help break the cycle of youth domestic abuse through working with both those young people being victimised by abusive behaviour and those who enact abusive behaviour. The project also reaches out to work with families.

The charity is taking an innovative, solutions-focused approach which differs from other ways of working to make sure that the focus is on understanding solutions to work towards a problem-free future, rather than focusing on the individuals’ problems.

Clare Taylor, Project Manager for Respect at YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough said: “Domestic abuse is not limited to adults. Sadly many young people also suffer within a relationship setting. Our programme seeks to empower and support those affected by allowing young people to explore their feelings, better understand the concepts of respect and consent, and build on their individual strengths.

“The programme is not just for those who experience intimate relationship abuse, but also offers separate support groups for those affected by other forms of domestic abuse such as adolescent to parent violence.”

At its core, Respect is a six-week programme. Referrals are now being accepted from all agencies and services that either work with or come into contact with, young people displaying signs of being affected by domestic abuse. To qualify for the programme, the young person must be aged between 16 years and 25 years and living in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough.

The six group sessions will cover the concepts of respect and consent; will explore what young people understand and recognise as abuse and also work to help participants identify and embrace their personal strengths and understand the importance of their physical and mental wellbeing which is linked to their behaviour.

After each group session the course facilitator will also host an informal drop-in slot for any participants who would like a more personal discussion.

The wider programme will also include workshops to be held in schools across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough targeting all pupils from 11-16 years old. The sessions will look at ways in which young people can respect themselves and avoid harm caused by others, through exploring their understanding of what a healthy relationship is.

If you are interested in learning more about the project please contact or call: 01733 373183 or 07799 901502.

YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is one of 133 local YMCAs in England and Wales that, together, support more than 200,000 young people every year.

Respect received a grant of £325,568 from the Big Lottery Fund to support the three-year programme. The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year, it invests over £650 million, awarding around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.