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 As a Club we have always worked towards preventing  Violence Against Women, by ensuring that every school is obliged to introduce a  programme of Relationships Education.   But Relationships Education needed to be strengthened to include  respect in relationships between those of different genders, ethnicity, cultures  and sexuality, and to encompass some elements from Citizenship and social  education teaching.

As part of  this project club members sent out questionnaires to  secondary schools in the general Ipswich area to ascertain what schools were  already doing and to give their views about a statutory Relationships Education  programme.

The photo  shows members hard at work sending out the questionnaires.  It took a long time, We and other Soroptimist Clubs in the UK submitted proposals as to what should be considered for inclusion. 

Eventually the Government introduced legislation and an agreed programme was introduced.  Not surprisingly this caused much controversy among certain communities, mainly due to the mainstream press calling it sex education for young children.  But it is not – it is about mutual understanding and respect, how to interact with people from all backgrounds, recognition that everyone is different. 

At the time we were fortunate to have Shirley Osborne, Coastal Action Against Abuse, join us to talk about the Teenage Relationship Campaign that she had been instrumental in driving forward. 

Soroptimists have a Bookmark that explains on one side what is a good relationship and what is a bad one and we are often asked by schools for these.