Programme Structure

How does Escape the Trap work?

Over eight weeks the core part of the programme addresses:

  • young peoples expectations of their intimate relationships
  • the behaviours and beliefs of those who treat them badly
  • identifying the things abusive partners may say and do to them
  • the experience of coercive control & bullying
  • the switching of tactics
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual coercion and abuse
  • how this behaviour impacts the way young people might feel about themselves
  • feeling isolated and alone, guilty and to blame for what is happening to them
  • how to identify such behaviour early on in a new relationship

Escape the Trap encourages participants to consider how they interpret what is happening to them and the context of their experience and how such thinking can be re-enforced by the wider community and society at large. The programme also focuses on how being treated with respect, care and love might be experienced. The programme can be delivered in any school, youth setting, children’s centre, youth service or specialist agency by trained, experienced facilitators.

Escape the Trap is aimed primarily at 13 – 16 year olds. However, trained facilitators are also using it with 12 yr olds, teenage mothers, college students and some adults with learning difficulties or for whom English is not their first language.

There will be significant differences in the maturity and life experience of each young person doing the programme. The choice of exercises reflects this, ensuring, that as well as the core part of each weekly session, there are suggested exercises and homework, designed to illustrate the learning. Facilitators can choose exercises to meet the specific needs of the young people in their groups.

Escape the Trap is designed to work over a 1.5hr or 2hr session, as session times will vary group to group, depending on where the group is run, either in school, other youth settings or children’s centres. For example, lesson times vary from school to school, so facilitators can use their discretion in choosing which of the exercises will work best in the time they have. There are exercises to be completed each week involving working individually, in pairs or as a whole group. The programme has an accompanying workbook.