The VRN believes everyone has a role to play in preventing violence and access to accurate and up-to-date information is vital to enable children, young people and adults to play their part. We also recognise one cause of serious violence in our communities is actual and perceived social norms supportive of violence. Our campaigns seek to provide information and advice as well as empower people to be active bystanders. Read below to find out more and to access our toolkits.
Live Safe is a digital space that aims to provide information and support to young people and parents/carers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Curated by the Violence Reduction Network (VRN) and with content produced from across the partnership, Live Safe brings together key information about issues that can affect young people’s safety. It covers subjects such as knife carrying and violence, criminal exploitation, gangs and online safety. It also provides young people with some guidance and tools to be active bystanders and make a positive stand against violence.
Designed with young people in mind, Live Safe purposely does not include partner organisations' logos and strives to make information as accessible and as relevant as possible. The VRN will be working with young people over the next 12 months to co-design additional content.
Parents and carers can also find accurate and useful information about the same issues so they have the knowledge and tools to keep their children safe and know what to do if they are concerned. In time, there will be an additional section for professionals. Users can also find links to credible national organisations and further resources.
You can access Live Safe here: https://livesafe.org.uk/
Make A Stand Against Violence
The VRN worked with Hitch Marketing, behaviour change experts, in developing the ‘Make A Stand Against Violence’ campaign and its content was co-produced with young people. It aims to support young people to play a role in preventing violence through encouraging them to look out for their friends. It helps young people understand what violence can look like in its many different forms, and aims to tackle harmful behaviours such as bullying or physical fighting before they escalate further.
The campaign is also about empowering young people by giving them some simple tools to be an ‘active bystander’. It uses a positive narrative which focuses on the fact that the vast majority of young people dislike violence but sometimes feel unable to do anything about it. Starting with ensuring the young person is safe themselves, the toolbox then gives three possible options:
Cool it down.
More information about Make a Stand can be found here: https://livesafe.org.uk/young-people/make-a-stand-against-violence/
We Don't Carry #LivesNotKnives
The Violence Reduction Network (VRN) and Leicestershire Police's Violence and Complex Crime Unit (VCCU) developed a new approach and branding of their long-standing Lives Not Knives anti-knife crime campaign.
Emerging evidence suggests that an approach that uses shock tactics isn’t best suited to produce positive action and behaviour change amongst young people and can also have an unintended impact of increasing fear, a known reason why some young people carry weapons.
Through consultation with brand experts and young people, we have re-branded the campaign to ‘WE DON’T CARRY’ #LivesNotKnives. The new content aims to be more authentic, avoids negative stereotypes and instead conveys a more positive image and narrative which focuses on the fact that most young people do not carry knives and have positive ambitions and goals. Pictures of knives are not used within the campaign.
The campaign continues to have an educational focus, highlighting the potential consequences of carrying and/or using a knife and offers practical advice and solutions for young people if they are concerned about themselves or others.
More information on Leicestershire Police’s campaign can be found here: Lives Not Knives
Are You Listening?
The Violence Reduction Network (VRN) teamed up with Leicestershire Police and the multi-agency Child Criminal Exploitation hub to develop a campaign focussing on CCE. ‘Are you listening’ is a short-film which aims to raise awareness amongst trusted adults and highlight the importance of them taking action if they are concerned.
The film focuses on four stories, which although fictional, are typical of the types of criminality children do and have been drawn into within and beyond Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. It highlights that whilst children may not tell an adult if they are in trouble, there are often some signs which indicate they might need help.
This may simply be a change in a child or young person’s behaviour from what is considered ‘normal’ for them but can also include:
Withdrawal from usual group of friends and a mention of older or new friends
Having gifts, a new phone or money that can’t be accounted for
Becoming withdrawn or secretive
Receiving a large number of calls or messages to their phone or being worried about being away from their phone
A drop in grades or performance, as well as suspension or exclusion from school
Going missing from home or not showing up to school or regular afterschool groups or clubs
Become involved in low level criminality such as antisocial behaviour
You can watch the Are you Listening film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb8COqQOeMo