Get Me Out of Here
Hide Your Tracks

WMWomensAid on Twitter

WMWomensAid Our new refuge in Hereford is ahead of schedule! It will open in the late summer, 2 months earlier than originally planned! #domesticabuse
20hreplyretweet
WMWomensAid Up to 60 per cent of women who experience domestic abuse are pregnant at the time #domesticabuse #domesticviolence
Jun 27replyretweet
WMWomensAid We need to furnish our new refuge in Hereford; can you help?
Jun 26replyretweet
WMWomensAid A shocking statistic; the police receive on average more than 100 calls relating to domestic abuse every hour #domesticabuse
Jun 21replyretweet
WMWomensAid @tinselknickers OK Emma, I am glad it is resolved. Thanks for getting back to me
Jun 20replyretweet

A celebrated speaker from West Mercia Women’s Aid will be welcomed as a keynote presenter at a conference to be held later this month.

Jemma Price, who heads up the CRUSH Project, will speak about the programme at a one-day conference for education providers on Thursday 20 June in Worcester.

Entitled ‘Respectful Relationships – The Challenge’, the event is being organised by The Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.

Charlotte Woodward from West Mercia Women’s Aid developed the CRUSH Project which was launched in October 2011. Funded by the Big Lottery’s Young People’s Fund it helps teenagers, aged 13 to 19 years, to avoid abusive relationships, end an abusive relationship safely or better manage their exposure to domestic abuse in the household in which they live.

At the conference, Jemma – who studied law at university - will be bringing along four young women who have completed the CRUSH project as well as a local teacher who runs CRUSH on a rolling programme in a local school. 

Since its launch, CRUSH has gone from strength to strength. Since June 2012 it has been running throughout West Mercia and has offered places to more than 250 young people.  In addition, organisations ran ‘closed’ groups throughout the area for a further 130 young people.  CRUSH presentations have been delivered to a variety of professional bodies which work with young people, including West Mercia Police – these presentations have reached more than 3000 children and young people.

85 per cent of those that have completed the CRUSH programme have reported a change in attitude towards relationships in the following areas : • Ways men and women behave in relationships; • Expectations about a partner; • Ways they behave to the opposite sex; • Ways they behave towards their partner; • Ways they behave towards their parents; • Ways they deal with the impact of domestic abuse.

Notably, more than a third of young people receiving support reported changed attitudes towards their own relationships.  It is clear from young people’s feedback that they both want and need information about abuse in relationships and that they are frequently not getting this from elsewhere.

Team members were invited to meet the Queen at last year’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Herefordshire and have taken part in fresher’s fayres, conferences nationwide as well as promoting the project via the NSPCC and Childline.  And with four modules recently added to the programme – Child Sexual Exploitation; Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage; LGBT and Young People with Learning Difficulties – it continues to develop and grow to meet the needs of its user group.

CRUSH helps young people learn through the experiences of fictional characters that they create and guide through a number of typical teenage scenarios, culminating in how to deal with an abusive relationship.  The programme is specifically designed to complement the subject matter around domestic abuse, healthy relationships and gender bullying that may take place in schools’ PSHE/Citizenship curriculums or initiatives such as Expect Respect.

Jemma said: “West Mercia Women’s Aid is delighted to be part of the Respectful Relationships conference.  It offers an excellent platform for us to further promote the benefits of CRUSH and the positive and enduring impact it has on those young people who take part.”

Jan Frances, Chief Executive of West Mercia Women’s Aid said: “The statistics surrounding sexual abuse, intimidation and violence in teenage intimate relationships are frightening.  Both nationally and locally we are hopeful that this situation can change.

“Nationally, research shows that teenage girls between 16 and 19 are now the group most at risk of domestic violence, closely followed by women aged 20-24.

“And locally, the CRUSH Project provides teenagers with the emotional and practical knowledge they need to recognise, deal with and successfully move on from abusive relationships.”

The conference will be held at St Peter’s Baptist Church in Worcester at a cost of £60.00 per delegate. Award winning programmes and the voice of young people will be highlighted in tackling the promotion of healthy relationships for children and young people.