Violence and long-term plans with young people at the heart of them.

The heightened tensions feel strong, passionate and dangerous. Human behaviours demonstrating disregard to the social distancing laws, blinded by anger and suppressed feelings of alienation.

I believe that violence is a disease, spreading from one person to another, like a raging bush fire spreading quickly. We can use force to put the fire out, but what started the fire in the first place? By understanding that, we can begin to put measures in place to ensure there are fewer fires.

I believe that whilst punishment for the crime of violence has its place, that it is simply putting a plaster on top of the gangerus wound, only to be peeled off again when triggers arise and negative behaviours are repeated. This comes at a time when figures relating to the escalation of domestic violence and abuse in the household are alarming.

Tensions are clearly high.

It feels that large parts of our society are so broken. I am focusing on our country, the UK. Yes, it has things to be ashamed of in its history. But it also has much to be proud of. Most recently we have seen one of the best health care systems in the world which has been demonstrated in the last 12 weeks, the NHS have been moving mountains within weeks to be prepared for the onslaught of Covid 19.

We should learn from history and begin to plan our path forwards. The past cannot be changed. With the future in mind, we should be looking to the government and to ourselves to make long term plans and policies that will support sustainable healing of our wounds.

What I am wanting to convey here is; always from the place of the child, where we all begin from childhood brought in the world, vulnerable, precious beings capable of so much if supported and nurtured in those early developing years.

There is much evidence out there to support the belief that those children that have been exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACE) will go onto be at the most risk of committing and having involvement in crimes later in their lives. They will become perpetrators of violence to other themselves.

You cannot teach compassion and empathy, it has to be modelled by secure attachment figures (positive role models) from the very start of life.

Trauma is at the root of everything. Its paralysing influence affects so much of a young persons life in adverse ways. Children that have grown up witnessing parental separation, domestic violence, sexual /physical and verbal abuse. Unfortunately, general neglect in basic parenting responsibilities results in poor insecure attachment issues.

Today’s society is evolving and moving forward at such an alarming rate that it is desensitising human senses. Violence is everywhere and it seems to be the new normal in the media. There has been a rise in the number of gory dramas and documentaries which report on death through violence, gangs and the trafficking of children. Many often feature drug rings, how to become rich through less than honest means and corruption of those upholding the laws. Narratives of the ‘bad guys’ becoming the ‘good guys’ through learning consequences and how to make positive changes seem to have diminished.

A lot of the music that young people listen to also has a strong sense of hate and rejection which in a world that seems unsafe and insecure sends a powerful message that bad will ultimately win over good. Many young people’s belief systems can become fundamentally untrusting which drives selfish behaviours because they see no role or purpose for their life going forwards. Often they turn to violence, but violence does not have to be inevitable, enforcement will never be the answer.

At The Seeds of Change it is imperative that we get to the deep roots of the problems our young people face. By doing so this enables us to stand a chance of them avoiding their predictable paths towards a dark and violent future.

In our work, our whole approach is around intervention and engagement working with every young person as an individual demonstrating a non-judgemental, respectful and contained space in which to explore their story to date and enabling opportunities to look to the future with more optimism and hope.

A long-term plan is needed. Our young people need to be part of the plan, their voice must be heard and be at the heart of every intention. This will take vision and commitment, a recognition that change needs to happen to enable future generations of children to live within a society that is safe and again one that every citizen feels proud to be part of.

Katherine Dillion, The Seeds of Change Director

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About Katherine Dillion

Katherine started the Seeds of Change 14 years ago with her business partner Rachael Frossell. A trained counsellor and exceptionally experienced coach, Katherine pioneered the development of the Seeds of Change specialist coaching techniques and programmes using the equine facilitated approach. EAGALA trained, Katherine works with a high tariff of young people using equine therapy to address their mental health and human development needs.

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