Tailored campaign to help young woman and girls understand what a healthy relationship is
A group of teenage girls leading a campaign to promote healthy relationships will launch an animation they have helped create at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) today (March 22).
The video using animated characters, explains how safe spaces can be set up in schools and other settings.
The event, which is free to attend, will also be a chance for people to hear about the work of the campaign and to meet some of the young women from the Oor Fierce Girls group, which includes Abbie, Fatema, Fatima, Katie, Leona, Margerate and Tamsyn.
With Tamsyn, Fatema, Margerate, Leona, Abbie and Katie contributing mostly to this part of the campaign.
NSPCC Scotland, The Young Women’s Movement and Dundee City Council have been working with the group of young people since June 2021, to create a tailored campaign to help young woman and girls understand what a healthy relationship is or feels like and where to go if they need advice or support.
They have created three toolkits – one for parents and carers, one for professionals who work with young people, and one for young people - to provide practical guidance on how to start conversations on these issues.
They have also produced a top tips guide for professionals on setting up safe spaces for young women and girls.
Tamsyn, a senior pupil at school in Dundee, said: “Safe spaces in schools are crucial for creating a safe and positive environment. I am so proud of us Oor Fierce Girls for creating such a push for these spaces to be installed in schools. The animation about safe spaces has to be one of the most rewarding aspects of the campaign and it will hopefully bring many more on board with the idea of having safe spaces in school.”
Euan Graham, local campaigns officer for NSPCC Scotland, said: “It’s been so inspiring to work with this talented group of young women. They’ve generously shared their experiences, views and ideas, to help us to create some incredibly useful toolkits, and this new video, to raise awareness of this important issue.
“It’s crucial that young people understand what a healthy relationship feels and looks like, and they have someone they trust to turn to if something happens that makes them feel unhappy or uncomfortable.
“Peer sexual abuse can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on someone’s life, so it’s vital that young people understand the issues around consent and that they can say no at any time.”
Elena Soper, national programmes manager, The Young Women's Movement, said: "We’re delighted to be able to celebrate these incredible young women and showcase this fantastic new animated film.
“Oor Fierce Girls have dedicated a lot of time to this cause and worked incredibly hard over the past few years to create many useful resources to help promote healthy relationships.
“We hope this video will be a useful tool for schools to help them to set up safe spaces for young women, where they can talk about their relationships with someone who cares and won’t judge them.”
Dundee city council depute children and families convener Councillor Roisin Smith, said: "I am always impressed by the energy and determination shown by Oor Fierce Girls in every project they undertake. They truly are an inspiration.
“Their latest creation will be an important resource for schools looking to set up safe spaces and I congratulate them on yet another tremendous achievement."
The project was first set up following an investigation into sexual harassment in Scottish schools carried out by the YWCA’s Young Women Lead committee in 2018.
It found that young people were most likely to turn to the internet or their friends for advice on sex and relationships and almost half of students and teaching staff surveyed said the current curriculum did not adequately cover the issue of consent.
In the same year, the NSPCC published a report on peer sexual abuse, which looked at contacts to its helplines. It revealed that Childline had held more than 3,000 counselling sessions with young people across the UK about this issue in the previous year, with more than 95% of the contacts being aged 12 and over.
They talked about it happening in school, in parks, at parties and other people’s houses, as well as online.