Bridlington mum calls for schools to educate about domestic violence

Kate Gardner.

Kate Gardner.

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A MUM of two has launched a petition calling for domestic violence awareness to be taught in schools as part of sex education lessons.

The online petition has been launched as part of the Freedom and Empowerment Campaign founded by domestic violence survivor Kate Gardner, of Bridlington who has turned her life around after escaping a mentally abusive relationship.

And Kate has recruited her own 15-year-old daughter Emily Robinson to help run an offshoot domestic abuse campaign aimed specifically at teenagers - the Freedom and Empowerment Teenager Campaign.

“The aim of the petition is to get domestic violence awareness taught in schools alongside sex education lessons so kids are taught what is right in a relationship and what isn’t,” Kate said.

“I don’t see anything like that out there at the moment, schools could get somebody from a domestic violence charity to talk to teenagers, they do it with the NSPCC talking about child cruelty so why can’t they do it with young adults,” she added.

Talks from domestic abuse charities, or even closed single sex group discussions, are just some ideas Kate would like to see happening in secondary schools, and not just in Bridlington but right across the country.

“Being a teenager they are easily hurt or put down and they are not going to tell their parents. If they are made aware of it at school they will know it isn’t right when they get into a relationship,” said Kate who is in contact with domestic violence charities based in the UK and America.

Kate is currently in the process of trying to secure an appearance on the Jeremy Kyle Show, the confrontational television talk show which frequently features abusive relationships, in a bid to share her story and raise awareness of her campaign.

As previously reported, at the age of 31 Kate was left temporarily paralysed down her left side after suffering a stroke which she believed was triggered by the stress of being in a mentally abusive relationship.

Left feeling “petrified” for her well-being Kate took the bold step of ending the relationship and has gone on to make a fresh start after enrolling on a life coaching course led by American motivational speaker Jack Canfield.

To date Kate has written two self published books, one a collection of short stories and the other giving relationship advice, and is in the process of penning her third about domestic violence.

Last month through the Free Press Kate appealed for domestic abuse victims to share their stories with her as part of her latest literary project.

Kate has been contacted by a number of people willing to share their survivor stories through the book but Kate is still keen to hear from anyone else.

To sign the Freedom and Empowerment Campaign’s petition follow the link on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FreedomandEmpowermentCampaign

For help, advice or to share your story with Kate email her at emilylouisegardner@hotmail.com.