drugs and
substance abuse

relationships and
domestic violence

knife crime

teenage pregnancy
and sexual health

consequences of

skills for independent living


bullying and emotional literacy

primary to

alcohol misuse

exploring diversity and community cohesion

Relationships and Domestic Violence

Behind Closed Doors
was launched in 1998 and was initiated and commissioned by The Thames Valley Partnership as part of their wider domestic violence initiative.

Target audience

Behind Closed Doors is suitable for young people in Mainstream Education aged 13 and upwards. The issues around domestic violence have proved to be particularly relevant and poignant for young people in Pupil Referral Units and Young Offender Institutes and also for audiences in Prisons. The programme has also been used in Conference and Training events.

In June 1999, Behind Closed Doors was cited as an example of good educational practice by the government:
"Living without Fear - an integrated approach to tackling violence against women."
-Home Office / Cabinet Office

In August 2000, Behind Closed Doors was endorsed by HM Prison Services - Education Services as "a powerful tool that can be used to support the delivery of social and life skills programmes (parent craft, improving assertiveness, decision making, personal development and cognitive skills)."


- To examine relationships and to challenge an individual's perception of what behaviour is normal and acceptable within a relationship.

- To explore and challenge the development of abuse within relationships.

- To look at what constitutes a healthy relationship and the roles individuals may take.

- To examine the audience's perception of and expectations from relationships.

- To look at how each gender perceives themself and the other and to consider stereotypes and how they are perpetuated.

- To explore how power and / or control may be a pre-cursor to abuse.

- To explore the notion that no-one should 'expect' to be abused, nor should anyone assume the 'right' to belittle, control or abuse another.

The play

The play tells two parallel stories of Kate and her best friend Gemma. Kate has recently met Dan and the two begin a relationship. Over a period of time, Dan's behaviour begins to change, he becomes invcreasingly demanding and controlling of Kate. Eventually during an argument, he slaps her. Domestic violence is a reality in Gemma's home, but she suffers in silence. It is not until the situation escalates and she is forced to flee her family home that she confides in her friend Kate.

The workshop

The workshop uses exercises and discussion to explore the issues from the play. The audience is encouraged to explore what they want from their own relationships and what behaviour they consider to be 'unacceptable'. Time permitting, and where relevant, some of the more sensitive discussions are held in single gender groups and then both groups are brought back together to share their findings.

The audience are then asked to consider Dan's actions and are able to meet him and look at his behaviour. They can direct and instruct him and attempt to help him resolve the final scene in the play without using violence.

Finally, the audience is taken back to Gemma's situation. She has taken an enourmous step and has confided in her best friend Kate. What can they do now? Who might they go to for help?

A comprehensive resource pack is available with this programme.


Due to the very sensitive nature of this programme, all establishments wishing to host Behind Closed Doors are required to ensure the presence of, or access to, the relevant professional support for all those taking part. ADAD are keen to establish links with any local agencies (counselling services etc.) that can offer on-going support to those who may wish to discuss issues in their lives as a result of ADAD's visit. ADAD adopts its own policy for Confidentiality and Disclosure (a copy of which is sent on confirmation of all bookings). It is recommended that this is read in conjunction with the host institutions's own policies.

Child Line 0800 1111

Links To:
This website is run by Women's Aid and offers advice and information to young people about domestic violence

This website is run by the NSPCC and offers advice and information for young people, including 'real time' one to one counselling.