Escape the Trap

A Workbook for Young People

What is the Escape the Trap programme?

In recent years the number of young people experiencing teenage relationship abuse has increased. Escape the Trap has been specifically designed to support you to learn about teenage relationship abuse and how it can effect you. Being a teenager can be a difficult and confusing time for anyone, but when you find yourself in a relationship in which you are treated badly and which ‘hurts’, it can leave you with extra layers of confusion, self-doubt, a lack of confidence and lowered self-esteem (one’s estimation of oneself).

How does Escape the Trap work?

Over eight weeks the programme will ask you to consider and explore:

  • Your expectations of relationships
  • Intimate relationships that make you feel bad
  • The things partners may say and do that hurt you
  • How their behaviour might impact the way you feel about yourself
  • The beliefs held by those who behave badly in relationships
  • Where their beliefs come from and which beliefs you might also share
  • Different forms of social media and how it can be used in partner abuse
  • How being treated with respect, care and love might be experienced
  • What a happy and equal relationship might be like

Each week of the programme runs in a similar way, with a mixture of discussion, creative or written exercises and activities.

Can I tell if my partner is going to treat me badly in the relationship?

Whether you have experienced abusive behaviour in your past or current relationship, you need to be clear on one thing. It is not your fault and you must not blame yourself. You are not responsible for the actions or behaviour of your past or current partner.

Sometimes we mis-read certain behaviours. We learn to excuse them as expressions of affection or acts of love. You are not alone.

Many people, in their teen and adult lives find themselves in abusive relationships. However, by the end of the programme, it is hoped that you will have improved awareness and understanding about teenage relationship abuse.

This knowledge and learning will provide you with the opportunity to identify abusive behaviour early on in a new relationship and support you to make safer, more informed choices.

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Cathy Press

Cathy Press has over 20 years experience as a psychotherapist and is an MBACP Senior Accredited Counsellor and Supervisor with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

For much of this time Cathy has worked within the arena of domestic and sexual violence and abuse with children, young people and adults.

Having been a trainer in domestic abuse related issues for over 17 years, Cathy is the sole trainer for Escape the Trap, as well as continuing to run other workshops and trainings across the UK.

Cathy Press

Combining therapeutic practice, running therapeutic group-work and her extensive knowledge base in relationship abuse dynamics, Cathy developed Escape the Trap to support young people who are at risk and vulnerable to early intimate relationship abuse, grooming and CSE. It is in response to the rising numbers of young people affected and their need for understanding as well as an opportunity to process how their experiences have impacted them.

Cathy runs the Charity Compassion – primarily addressing domestic abuse in South Suffolk, sat for many years on the Scrutiny Panel for domestic abuse cases for the CPS and has won awards for innovative work in the arena of domestic abuse.