A CAMPAIGN to get young people talking about domestic abuse and healthy relationships is being launched in Stretford.

The awareness campaign hopes to encourage young victims to take that first step and ask for help.

The campaign was launched after it was revealed that 37,000 incidents of domestic abuse were reported in Greater Manchester last year.

The Sitting Right With You campaign will be launched at Stretford High School, before touring schools and youth centres across Greater Manchester.

Year 9 pupils at Stretford High School will watch a theatrical performance of ‘Tough Love’, followed by workshops to discuss their understanding and feelings about domestic abuse.

Deputy head Lindsay Brindley, said Stretford High School is proud to be the launch school for Greater Manchester awareness.

She said: “Our student and their families’ welfare and well-being is of paramount importance to us. We need to create a culture of open and honest debate so that our young people understand the complexities of relationships, including abusive ones, and know how to get help and support when things go wrong.”

Through assemblies and workshops, young people will learn that domestic abuse isn’t only physical violence – it can also be controlling what someone wears, their money, where they go and who they talk to.

Challenging messages, including ‘he doesn’t like me using social media’, ‘she doesn’t like me spending time with my friends anymore’, and ‘I get caught in the middle at home, I wish I could talk to someone’, will also be displayed on posters, digital screens and social media.

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes said: “When people think of domestic abuse, they imagine a kick or a punch, but often it’s more complicated than that.

"The Sitting Right With You campaign has challenged these perceptions, empowering people to take a a hard look at their own or a loved one’s relationship and take that first step to getting help and support."

Detective Superintendent Denise Worth said it is important that young people learn to spot the signs of domestic abuse.

She said: “This campaign is a brilliant opportunity to engage with young people and make them aware about how they can spot the signs of domestic abuse.

“We know that often it will be these youngsters that will witness these types of crimes being committed in their homes which makes it all the more important for us to support them through project such as these.

“Sadly domestic abuse also affects people of all ages which is why we are keen to showcase the support services that are also available to anyone in need."

If you or someone you care about has been affected by domestic abuse, contact the Greater Manchester domestic abuse helpline on 0161 636 7525.