National Schools' Conference on "Honour" Based Violence

On October 18th, Youth For Change UK join forces with IKWRO and Not In My Classroom, to host the first ever National Schools’ Conference on “Honour” Based Violence. UK team member Larissa explains what it's all about...

‘We will reach every member of staff in every school to ensure that every young person is safeguarded.’

This is the pledge that we want to make. This is the reality that young people want to see. For too long, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage have been brushed under the carpet and it’s time for change. As young people, we can see, first-hand, the extent to which this could affect someone’s entire life, someone just like us – so, we refuse to let this happen any longer.

At Youth For Change, our #TrainToProtect campaign is calling for the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, to conduct a review into the training that school staff receive on FGM and child marriage because we know that, at the moment, lots of teachers don’t feel adequately prepared to recognise or tackle these issues.

This isn't fair.  Mandatory reporting requirements leave teachers legally responsible to spot these issues, yet teachers who have received full training are few and far between. We also don’t think it’s fair to the children and young people in your care – no girl should have to suffer the physical and psychological effects of FGM and no young person should find themselves trapped in a marriage that they didn’t consent to.

So what are we doing about it?

In partnership with IKWRO and Not In My Classroom, Youth For Change are hosting the first ever National Schools’ Conference on “Honour” Based Violence in London on October 18th. Here, the expert training providers that we’ve enlisted will ensure that attendees go away feeling more confident about spotting the signs of and preventing FGM, child marriage and “honour” based violence.

In our youth workshops, young people will be trained in campaigning and how to be champions against these issues in their individual communities. Plus, on our policy panel, we’ll be ensuring that decision makers are committing to our pledge too, to create a holistic approach against these harmful practices.

But why should school staff come?

None of this works without you. School staff are intrinsically important to young people’s development – I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without some of the teachers and support staff at my school that encouraged me and kept me on track. This unique relationship between schools and young people, means school staff are highly likely to receive disclosures or spot the signs, so this opportunity for free training could be crucial to a young person who is sitting in a maths class right now.

So, if you’re interested in knowing more about the issues of FGM, child marriage and “honour” based violence, you want to commit to ensuring that every child is safeguarded and you’re a member of school staff, make sure you come along – we can’t wait to see you!

Find more information and get your ticket here!