The session was followed by a ‘fun’ activity where the boys packed Buddy Bags to be given to children who have experienced the trauma of having to flee their homes as a result of domestic abuse.
Club chose this project because we recognise the importance of educating males about domestic abuse.
We wanted to address the issues of violence against women with young males, and help educate them to ensure that they are aware that they need to take responsibility in ending male violence against women. They need to understand what constitutes a healthy relationship and what does not.
A talk was given by two Officers from West Midlands Police, one of whom is a Soroptimist. Using their experience and knowledge in this field, they provided training on the following areas: healthy relationships, sex and the law, consent, pornography, online safety & sexting.
The presentation was interactive and promoted discussion and plenty of debate. Many of the boys commented and asked questions. As a ‘fun’ activity, the boys packed Buddy Bags, a backpack containing all the essential items a child needs on arrival in the hostel. At the end, we gave each boy a sports drinking water bottle with the Soroptimist logo and key words on it as a reminder of the day.
At the end of the session the 20 boys who attended the training session were much more aware of the basics of healthy relationships and online safety than they were before. Any women or girls with whom these boys interact in the future will hopefully benefit from the training the young men have received.
The packing of the Buddy Bags helped the boys to realise what it would be like for a child to arrive at a refuge with absolutely nothing and how valuable to them these bags of essential items would be. Some of them even put extras such as an extra book.