Make it Mandatory
Published: 19 January 2023
Second year Biomedical Science student, Jasmine Godden Melendez, has been heavily involved in a campaign called Make it Mandatory which aims to make education on domestic abuse and coercive control a legal requirement for sixth forms and 16-19 colleges. While education on domestic abuse and coercive control is currently mandatory from years 7-11 in secondary school, there is no such legislation beyond those age groups – something Make it Mandatory hopes to change.
Speaking on the campaign, Jasmine says, “A close friend of mine, Faustine, initially set up a petition to make education around domestic abuse mandatory for sixth forms and 16-19 colleges in June of 2022. In July 2022, when the petition had 1,000 signatures, Faustine contacted myself and a couple of other people who had all worked together before to help with publicity for the campaign. We filmed a short video and quickly realised that as a group we made a very dynamic team.
“By the end of July, we had 44,000 signatures on our petition and had been contacted by a number of charitable organisations to collaborate. We have officially partnered with Refuge, the UK’s biggest Domestic Abuse charity, who have provided us with invaluable support through their expertise in policy, media and campaign strategy, as well as connecting us with their large network of high profile supporters – such as Saffron Hocking from TopBoy, who is a keen ambassador for the campaign!
“Our main goal is to make education on domestic abuse and coercive control a mandatory requirement in all sixth forms and colleges. The nature of how this is implemented is subject to change as we engage in discussions with education ministers and non-ministerial departments (such as OFSTED) to identify what the legislative barriers are (if any) to implementing change, and how we can work around them.
“We have now amassed over 70,000 signatures on our original petition, and in January we will be doing an official hand in to 10 Downing Street. MP Layla Moran has set up an Early Day Motion for the campaign, which has been signed by 15 MPs so far – including Caroline Lucas! We also have plans to meet with parliamentary officials who are connected with Gillian Keegan, the current Secretary of State for Education.
“We have also been asked to deliver workshops in schools relating to domestic abuse and related topics such as sexual violence. We plan to do more outreach in schools to not only spread awareness of the signs of domestic abuse, but to also gain a better understanding of where unmet institutional needs are.”
If you would like to find out more about Make it Mandatory, or would like to get involved, please click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org