Welcoming new faces

Tender is happy to welcome three new placement students to the Tender team. Hear from them what they gained and learnt from their first day with Tender below….

What would my fifteen year old self think?

Written by Rose Swainston

As a woman in her mid-twenties, I like to think that I’m savvy when it comes to knowing about healthy relationships. However, my first day at Tender has reminded me of how subtle changes can quickly lead to it all turning sour.

JESS is one of Tender’s incredible resources. It is a film that shows the different stages of violent or harmful relationships:

Befriending/building trust

Emotional manipulation

Alientation from friends/family



Jess starts seeing a new guy at school. One thing I noticed in particular was the use of social media throughout the film. He messages her all the time and gradually those texts became emotionally manipulative. Also, when her brother’s girlfriend does not answer her phone, it is a trigger for him to get angry. Most crucially, when we press the ‘SEND’ button there is no guarantees of who our message is actually going to.

Jess’ man asks her to send a naked picture. She is reluctant but he continues to pressure her. I think now I would tell him to “get lost” but back when I was fifteen and it was my first boyfriend, I am not so sure! Most people I have spoken to about ‘sexting’ have experienced someone from school getting themselves into trouble. I remember a girl sending a sex pic to her boyfriend…who then sent it to his friend…and by the next day it had spread round six schools. I found it shocking that someone she trusted could have sent that picture but it is easy to send a picture without thinking about how it will affect the personal life of the person involved.

Luckily there are laws.

If you’re under 18, it’s illegal to take or share an ‘indecent’ picture of yourself, or to look at or share someone else’s. If it’s naked, a topless girl, contains genitals or sex acts including masturbation it will be ‘indecent’! (http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/)

If you are over 18 and it is intended to humiliate or upset a trusting victim then it is classed as Revenge Porn.

Looking at some of the resources at Tender today, I’ve seen from the victim’s shoes how easy it is to be encouraged to do sexual things we don’t want to do. I guess, we always have to ask why am I doing this? And does this really make me feel sexy when I’m not feeling confident?

First Impressions

Written by Natalie Skyes

Today is my first day as a volunteer at Tender. I was very nervous this morning on my way here but was instantly welcomed by the team when I walked into the office which was lovely. The atmosphere in the office put me at ease straight away and I already feel like I’ve been here ages! It is warm, friendly, respectful and nurturing and I’ve got a feeling I’m going to LOVE it here. I am currently studying a Masters degree at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. I completed my BA Hons in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education in June 2015. I was drawn to Tender after a friend did a placement here in 2012. She highly recommended it.

Domestic violence is a subject which is close to my heart and I think the work that Tender does in educating and aiding young people in domestic violence awareness and how to spot an unhealthy relationship is invaluable. I have personally experienced the transformative effects of Applied Theatre and am at a place in my life where I want to help others to experience this. Working at Tender will aid me in my learning process and I am really excited to work for them in their office and on a practical project in Lewisham with young people. I have already learnt a lot in the last few hours of being here and I am excited to learn what it is like to work in the field I am studying. I have never worked for a not for profit organisation or a charity and I’m really honoured to be part of this team which creates massive value in society.

We look forward to reading more blogs from our volunteers during their time here!

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