Domestic abuse survivors are calling on the government to bring in mandatory teaching of coercive and violent relationships for sixth-formers.
Posing with a giant Valentine’s Day card, campaigners from women’s charity Refuge and activists at Make It Mandatory hand-delivered a petition of 90,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street calling for urgent action.
Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription
The campaign follows a week of horrifying stories of violence against women and girls, including the sentencing of serial rapist David Carrick, a Met Police officer who committed crimes for 17 years before he was stopped, and the murder of headteacher Emma Pattison and her seven-year-old daughter Lettie, who were believed to have been shot dead by their husband and father, who then killed himself.
- How all men can join the fight to end violence against women
- The domestic violence charities supporting victims and survivors in the UK
- The cost of living crisis is making it harder for domestic violence victims to leave their abusers
“Sometimes coercive control looks like love,” Faustine Petron, founder of the Make It Mandatory campaign told The Big Issue. Petron was in an abusive relationship from the age of 16 to 20 and her ex-partner went to prison for the offences he committed.
“If I knew what a healthy relationship looked like, and how a person acts in a healthy relationship, perhaps I could have exited that relationship sooner”, she said.