SCHOOLCHILDREN around Swindon are being taught about healthy relationships and the many forms which abuse can take.

Members of Swindon Women’s Aid yesterday went to St Joseph’s School to talk to pupils about the issue.

The discussion-based session was intended to give youngsters an informed view on relationships and how to end abusive ones.

Caroline Smith, a children’s support worker with the charity, said: “Abuse in relationships can take many forms and is not just restricted to the physical side.

“Sending lots of text messages may seem quite cute to some people but if this goes on and becomes more controlling in nature then this can become a form of abuse.

“Many people would not necessarily count this as abuse but it can have a very negative effect.”

The charity is targeting those aged between 16 and 24 – the age group most likely to become victims, and staff are going into schools before children reach that age group.

“The session is run in the form of a discussion with the children so we can find out their views and get them to explain what they think equals abuse,” said Caroline.

“Afterwards we offer advice on where they can turn to for help.

“We want to try and get into as many secondary schools to reach as many children as possible.”