Provision for all young people is goal for Show Respect campaign

Last week we welcomed four experts engaged in tackling violence against women and girls for a panel discussion as part of the Show Respect campaign – our partnership with the Evening Standard. The discussion was held at The Conduit Club in Covent Garden, in front of a packed audience and many more watching the event by live stream.

We were joined by Anne Longfield - former Children’s Commissioner and founder of the Centre for Young Lives think tank, Jon Yates - the Executive Director of the Youth Endowment Fund, Ebinehita Iyere, a therapeutic youth practitioner and founder of Milk Honey Bees (one of the organisations supported by the campaign so far) and Steve Chalke - founder of the Oasis Trust academy chain. The event was chaired by David Cohen, the Evening Standard journalist whose investigative article inspired the campaign in the first place.

The expert panel at the Show Respect event at The Conduit Club (Photo: The London Community Foundation)

Cohen interviewed boys from two different London schools and discovered the worrying attitudes and actions of young male pupils and the rise in use of pornography – even at an early age. Fuelled by the rise of misogynistic influencers such as Andrew Tate, schools are seeing an increase in sexist abuse and harassment for young female students. Organisations like Milk Honey Bees are making significant efforts to address these issues but there’s an urgent need for more support, including more training for those practitioners already working in London schools. The Show Respect campaign will begin with supporting 12 organisations to run healthy relationships workshops for around 15000 young people, but the vision is to provide even more.

There will never be enough funding... not just for projects but also for training for the practitioners that we have already, working in schools. Funding to educate and strengthen our ability to do the work...
Ebinehita Iyere, Milk Honey Bees

The campaign could also see the opportunity for these supported organisations to work together and increase their effectiveness through collaboration and knowledge-sharing but there’s more required from local communities and from wider society too. The expert panel acknowledged that politicians have traditionally been reluctant to get to grips with misogyny and sexist abuse in schools, with no one stepping forward to champion the issue. Yet the Youth Endowment Fund estimates that providing a healthy relationships programme to all year 9 students would cost around £20m, just 0.02% of the Department for Education’s annual budget. While not the full answer, evidence from 16 different evaluations show that workshops like these can lead to a significant 15-20% decrease in levels of violence among young people. Change is possible but we need to work together to see it happen – from local communities, schools, youth practitioners, policy makers, local authorities and the government too.

We have to understand this is a societal issue not just a school issue. What happens among kids and teenagers is reflective of what is going on in society.
Steve Chalke, Oasis Trust
Ebinehita Iyere, from Milk Honey Bees, sharing her experiences on the discussion panel (Photo: The London Community Foundation)

The 12 organisations already supported by the campaign – with grants committed from the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund – will be featured in different editions of the Evening Standard throughout the campaign. The goal is to raise the subject of misogyny and abusive relationships in schools with the public and with parliament as well as raising enough funds to offer healthy relationship workshops to all year 9 pupils in London schools.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has also given his backing to the Show Respect campaign, saying “we need to take on the pervasive and pernicious view that the lives of women and girls are worth less. It is this belief which creates the environment where male violence can flourish. This means a concerted effort to teach boys, from a young age, about the principles of equality and respect. Young girls and women everywhere deserve safety, dignity and the freedom to enjoy their inalienable rights to the full. We owe it to them to create schools, cities and societies where gender equality is a lived reality, not an abstract ideal.”

Show Respect campaign as featured on the front cover of the Evening Standard

For more information about Show Respect, tap the button below about the campaign launch. If you would like to support the campaign financially, please contact