Karishma Dharni

Changing Hearts and Minds

Preventing Violence against Black and Minority Ethnic Women and Girls

An Education Pack by Southall Black Sisters

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, [#IDEVAW] and the 16 Days of Activism [#16DaysOfActivism] against Gender-Based Violence Campaign we are launching Changing Hearts and Minds – Preventing Violence against Black and Minority Ethnic Women and Girls – An Education Pack.

Changing Hearts and Minds is a unique, free education resource pack written by Southall Black Sisters (SBS) specifically for teachers to undertake prevention work on violence against black and minority ethnic (BME) women and girls. It provides specialist understanding and awareness raising of the key issues that affect BME women and girls experiencing violence and abuse and how teachers can prevent, protect and support young people who may be affected or vulnerable to such forms of abuse.

“The education pack is based on 36 years of experience by Southall Black Sisters of working with black and minority ethnic (BME) women and girls facing gendered violence. It is an essential resource for schools enabling them to educate, and change attitudes and behaviour on what is often considered a ‘culturally or religiously sensitive’ subject which many teachers find difficult to tackle. The pack gives them the tools and the confidence they need to make transformative change by preventing violence against BME women and girls in future generations.”
Hannana Siddiqui
Policy, Research & Fundraising Consultant

The programme has been developed so that it allows teachers to explore the wider issues of gender stereotypes, gender inequality, gender expectations, misogyny and healthy and respectful relationships, and to then drill down on issues specifically affecting BME women and girls such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), so called ‘honour’ based violence (HBV) and the impact of religion and culture. The work is encompassed within human rights, violence against women and girls, intersectional discrimination and black feminist frameworks.

This education pack has been carefully designed to ensure that teachers are provided with effective and simple tools to ensure ‘outstanding’ teaching and learning takes place through complimenting PSHE, Citizenship and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Aspects of learning.

The pack contains lesson plans which use the accelerated learning cycle pedagogy by Alistair Smith (2007) and supported by power-points, work booklets and is accompanied by a series of short films (made by a group of young BME women – The SBS Ambassadors for Change) to support the content and delivery of the education resource pack.

“Developing an active ambassador program for young people to lead on the issues of violence against black and minority ethnic (BME) women and girls is prevention at a potent level. Observing the confidence with which young people were able to work along-side their teachers, create the short films and present to political delegates with such passion and understanding of the importance of eradicating gendered violence, clarifies the need for developing more young people led prevention and awareness raising campaigns.”
Anita Bhardwaj
Schools Prevention Worker

‘Changing Hearts and Minds’ is available as a free download

“The biggest thing I will take from this experience, is the fact that I have grown as a person, this has really encouraged me to go out more, speak to more people and like if someone is able to come and tell me something I can advise them.”
SBS Ambassador

“I heard about the Southall Black Sisters Ambassadors programme and I thought that getting involved in it would grant me the possibility to help someone who would be vulnerable and in need of help.”
SBS Ambassador

“Learning about these issues helped me to be more confident in talking about violence and abuse, whereas before I was a bit hesitant.”
SBS Ambassador

“Just in general violence and abuse aren’t issues that are really discussed and I think young people should become more aware of these issues because these issues are experienced by a lot of people in society and they might be exposed to those things in future and it might be good for them to gain knowledge of it now.”
SBS Ambassador

“I would really encourage other young people to set up this programme in their schools because if we are able to raise awareness and teach people about how to prevent this and why this is happening and not only girls but also boys. Then possibly it won’t happen in the future.”

SBS Ambassador

“When we started the project there was not a lot of awareness about violence and abuse specifically towards women and girls, especially among the younger generation like people our age and I think by becoming ambassadors we were able to spread awareness and give people more understanding of the issues.”
SBS Ambassador

‘Changing Hearts and Minds’ is available as a free download

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