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The REaDAPt Project

The REaADPt project conducted a robust evaluation of three grassroots domestic abuse prevention education programmes: Relationships without Fear (Stoke on Trent, England); Filles et Garçons, en route pour l'Egalité (Toulouse, France), and La Máscara del Amor (Murcia, Spain). Over 2000 young people participated in this evaluation by completing the Attitudes towards Domestic Violence questionnaire (ADV) which was created by Dr Claire Fox and Professor David Gadd. The young people completed the ADV before they received the intervention/programme (the pre-test) and again after the intervention (the post-test). This was to determine the impact of the intervention on their attitudes from before to after they received the intervention. Young people who received Relationships without Fear (England) also completed the questionnaire for a third time (known as the ‘follow-up’) approximately 3 months after they had received the programme to assess whether any effects were maintained over time.

In the evaluation of Relationships without Fear, matched control groups were also used. Thus, each school in receipt of the intervention was matched with a school who were not receiving the programme. Young people in these (control) schools also completed the pre-test and post-test questionnaires. This meant that the project team could compare the attitudes (at pre-test and post-test) of children who received Relationships without Fear with children who had not received it. This helped to rule out alternative explanations for the findings.

In all three sites, focus groups were also conducted with students to explore their opinions about the programmes. This enabled the young people to provide specific feedback and helped the project team to refine and improve service provision – culminating in the Educational Toolkit.

The Educational Toolkit includes a number of activities and lessons from these programmes, as well as some new activities designed specifically for the Toolkit. The Educational Toolkit is free to download from this website, and enables teachers and practitioners to implement their own domestic abuse prevention education programme. Additionally, the REaDAPt team have produced a Research Toolkit, which is also free to download from this website. The Research Toolkit includes the Attitudes towards Domestic Violence questionnaire, and explains how it should be administered. The Research Toolkit provides comprehensive guidance on how teachers and practitioners can evaluate their own domestic abuse prevention programme, and is based on the evaluation process utilised by the REaDAPt team.

The REaDAPt Educational Toolkit is being used by a number of teachers in Malta who are implementing the programme in their schools. They are also using the Research Toolkit to help them administer the ADV to young people – asking their students to complete the questionnaire before and after the programme. The young people’s pre-test and post-test responses will then be examined by the REaDAPt team to determine whether the Educational Toolkit has influenced their attitudes towards domestic violence.