Base 25 - Supporting Young People in Shaping their lives

Young people and Domestic Abuse                          

Almost a million children witness domestic violence each year (YouGov 2012).  Child victims and witnesses of violence risk normalising what they see; developing a gender role identity based on this and could develop anxieties about transitioning into adulthood (SAFE 2013).  The Economic and Social Research council funded research around young males that were impacted by domestic abuse who then went on to become domestic abuse perpetrators through a project titled 'From Boys to Men' (Fox et al, 2013). Phase 1 of the project surveyed over a thousand children aged 13 -14. Over half that had been impacted by domestic abuse went on to use perpetrator behaviours. The Government's Violence against Women and Girls strategy (2009) highlighted fears that if people under 20 committed domestic violence, it would become the norm for them in later life.  The SAFE project works with children and young people that were child witnesses or victims of violence who display behaviours synonymous with domestic abuse that require intervention at the earliest stage to prevent them from going on to normalise and use abusive behaviours.

The primary aim of the SAFE project is to support young people that were child victims or witnesses of domestic abuse to make changes in their behaviour by challenging their underpinning values and attitudes with a structured negotiated programme of work that uses a range of cognitive activities to challenge perceptions and underpinning negative behaviours.  By tackling the underpinning perspectives, the programme has the potential of having long-term positive impacts rather than just tackling the behaviours, enabling young people to gain an understanding and therefore more control of the behaviour choices they make.

The SAFE Project (Safer Action For Everyone) 

Overall aim

To reduce the number of children and young people that go on to use domestic violence behaviours as they transition into adulthood

Specific aims

  • To increase self-confidence and emotional resilience
  • To Increase self esteem
  • To improve young people’s ability to make informed decisions
  • To minimise levels harm to self and others. 
  • To increase knowledge on topics of relevance 

Areas of activity

  • Offer structured individual programmes  
  • Involve young people in setting their own goals 
  • Provide opportunities for young people to reflect on their decision-making 
  • Provide positive role models 
  • Provide opportunities for young people to develop strategies to manage their 
    •   behaviour 
  • Provide opportunities for personal development 

What has been said about the project
Pilot project developed in partnership with RESPECT (London 2009/10) 
“It's helped me with my anger and my jealousy”
“I’ve learnt a lot of things about myself since doing the programme “


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*Please note that as of January 1st 2017 this is a fee paying service, please contact Base 25 for costs


Find more information about SAFE at


SAFE Report 2016.pdf

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