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Merseyside Youth Association

MVP Core Components

There are five core components to the MVP programme:

1. Exploring Violence Through a Gendered Lens

MVP facilitates lively debates that centre on traditional and current social understanding of masculinity, femininity, sex and gender. By exploring how these norms can play a role in supporting or condoning bullying and gender-based violence the sessions look at the objectification of women in the media, including pornography. The question is posed as to whether this objectification contributes to harassment and abuse.

Attendees also explore machoism in the media and how this can contribute to pressure on boys/men. Sessions promote open and honest dialogue about how stereotypes of masculinity and femininity might affect young people’s willingness to intervene and interrupt abusive behaviour.

2. Developing Leadership

MVP is a leadership programme that encourages individuals to be active bystanders in situations where people will often walk away or remain silent. Through staff training and peer education, the programme allows the development of positive role models who are empowered to support and challenge peers.

3. Using a Bystander Approach

MVP uses a creative bystander approach to support the prevention of bullying and gender based violence. Participants are not identified as either victims or perpetrators but as empowered bystanders. The approach creates safe discussions allowing individuals to share experiences. MVP session plans focus on asking the ‘Why?’ question and allow mentors to develop meaningful and powerful conversations which aim to construct and support healthy social norms.

4. Exploring the Scope of Violent Behaviour

The MVP programme defines violence as including verbal, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. Defining violence in this way highlights that various forms of abuse can cause serious harm in relationships.

5. Challenging Victim Blaming

Victims of abuse are often blamed for the abuse committed against them. They could be blamed for reasons such as: staying with abusive partners, how much they have had to drink or the type of clothes they are wearing. MVP sessions aim to discuss the issue of victim blaming and to ensure that participants are aware that the only person to blame for abuse is the abuser.

Applying these core components to positively change the culture and ethos of a school, will make it a safer, more inclusive and welcoming place for young people. By embracing the MVP programme, schools are contributing to making Liverpool communities positive and safer places for our young people.