Senior North Ayrshire pupils have displayed a piece of art in the ongoing campaign against domestic violence.

The artwork was created by S5 and S6 pupils during the Expect Respect Conference, held in Irvine in December, as part of the 16 Days of Action White Ribbon Campaign. The young people wanted to create an important and lasting message from the conference which explored ways to eliminate both violence against women and gender-based violence.

Inspired by Scotland’s Year of Young People, the event put terms such as ‘domestic abuse’ and ‘coercion’ into language that was relevant to the 100 young people and heard from a range of speakers, with some of the key discussions recorded on the graffiti display. The artwork will now be placed on display at St Matthew’s Academy in Saltcoats to allow students the chance to see some of the key messages which were discussed.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “It’s important for us to discuss the issues around gender-based violence and it’s really encouraging to see the thought our young people are putting into tackling such a serious issue.

“Gender-based violence can affect anyone, anywhere and it is important that young people are informed and know the support and information which is available to them.”

Police Preventions and Interventions Officer Colin Johnson added: “The Expect Respect conference in December was a fantastic event that gave pupils from across North Ayrshire the opportunity to come together, learn, discuss and debate what domestic abuse looks like in their relationships, whilst providing them the necessary tools to identify and hopefully protect themselves and their friends.

“The artwork was created on the day and is based upon both the presentations and the opinions of the pupils themselves. As part of the North Ayrshire Violence Against Women Partnership, we are delighted that the original artwork will find a permanent home at St Matthew’s Academy where hopefully it will help start many meaningful discussions.”