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Greater Manchester adopts virtual reality for training on gender based violence


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Woman using VR headset
Image source: Kegfire

A project involving the use of virtual reality headsets to provide training on gender based violence has been implemented across Greater Manchester.

It has been jointly funded by £80,000 from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and uses and is being run by Mother Mountain Productions.

The training programme for professionals in relevant sectors comprises two parts. The first, named Insight, on the real-life accounts of 15 survivors and interviews with five agencies that support victims.

Aimed at professionals, such as legal, health and social care sector staff, it immerses them into scenarios so they can fully understand the impact of this behaviour and improve their responses.

The second, Flourish, is being rolled out to agencies who support women. It includes interviews with survivors and experts, animations, mindfulness meditations and life coaching, and aims to promote resilience and recovery for people affected by gender based violence.

Hard to see signs

Kate Green, Greater Manchester’s deputy mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice and fire said: “The signs of domestic abuse and coercive control can so often be hard to see, both for those affected by it and those close to them. And we know that it is often difficult to speak out and seek help.

“That’s why Mother Mountain’s work is so important. It’s vital that we improve understanding of gender based violence wherever we can, but particularly amongst professionals who come into contact with a wide range of people in our communities, and of course continue to provide support for those that ask for help.”

Greater Manchester’s Gender Based Violence Strategy is a 10-year plan that sets out how the city-region aims to tackle all forms of gender based violence and the attitudes that allow it to occur. The strategy outlines a whole systems approach, that is how the city-region’s local authorities, partners, and services all come together to tackle the abuse holistically.

The project was jointly funded by Gwynt-y-Mor community fund to deliver similar training opportunities across north Wales.

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