An Evaluative study of Project CRUSH: Education, Young People, Healthy Relationships and Domestic Abuse.

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This is the final report of an evaluative study of project CRUSH, a project aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skill sets of 13 to 18-year olds to form healthy relationships and address their preconceptions with regard to domestic abuse. The study analyses audio recordings of two complete runs of the programme held within two separate schools, the training materials, a facilitator interview and CRUSH database. Attendees on the programme were selected by referral on the basis of being deemed at risk of domestic abuse. The focus of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of the communication between facilitators and participants, the effectiveness of the training materials, and any change in knowledge and attitude of participants from beginning to end of the programme. This study aims to fill the gap within current academic literature surrounding preventive domestic abuse programmes where research regarding facilitator communication and influence upon participants of such programmes is lacking. This is also the first research project to record and analysis such a programme in session. The key finding were: (i) a shift in attitudes and responses of the participants in both groups occurred, enhancing student’s understanding of domestic abuse and healthy relationships; (ii) the positive strength of the facilitators and flexibility of materials, helped build positive relationships with the participants and adapt to individual group needs; and (iii) the importance of facilitator/student relationships to address macro, micro, meso and individual level issues/needs. The report concludes by stating that for the Governments’ new Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) school programme to be effective in challenging stereotypical views on gender and domestic abuse, they must ensure the people that deliver the new in school healthy relationship classes have the level of skill, empathy, knowledge and good humour displayed by the CRUSH B&NES team.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages60
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021


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