Domestic violence and abuse lessons will not be compulsory

The Department for Education has said that there are no plans to make domestic violence and abuse awareness classes compulsory in our schools.

The mother of 21 year old Hannah Fisher, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend, said last week that domestic violence and abuse awareness lessons should be taken in all schools.

In Wales, Police say that there have been 763 Safer Relationships lessons which are tailor made for each age group. The lessons are part of the Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE) although not all schools in the UK teach these lessons, and some parents opt out.

Domestic violence and abuse as a subject does not come up until secondary school.

The Department of Education say that they want teachers to have the freedom to tailor lessons to meet the needs of their pupils as they will know them best.

Nicola Whitley, specialist domestic violence lawyer at Swain & Co, says, “It is a shame that the government is not looking to make domestic violence and abuse awareness a part of compulsory learning. More needs to be done to prevent domestic violence and abuse as the statistics are startling.”

Domestic Violence statistics

  • In 2011, more than one million women and more than 800,000 men were victims of domestic violence and abuse in England and Wales
  • Two women a week are killed by their current or former partner
  • Domestic abuse accounts for 18% of all violence crime in England and Wales
  • There are five types of domestic abuse – physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and financial