This is a fantastic resource for exploring heathy relationships with young people developed by Safer Bristol/Bristol Against Violence and Abuse. We would recommend visiting the original toolkit and website in planning your lesson but below are suggested supplementary notes, clips and key questions which may be of use.



Video – a Vimeo account it needed to watch the video but it is also accessible elsewhere online by searching Spiralling Toolkit Video

Before watching the film and taking part in discussions:

This resource and the corresponding activities aim to raise awareness of the characteristics and the common trajectory of abusive relationships so as to support young people to recognise when they, a peer or a family member might be in an abusive relationship. It is also, against a context of poor relationship models in the media, an opportunity for learners to consider their own behaviour in relationships and how to seek help if necessary.

Spiralling depicts a relationship between a teenage girl and boy but the behaviours depicted could be carried out in a relationship between two men, two women or with a female perpetrator in a heterosexual relationship. More information regarding the crime statistics and the gendered nature of relationship abuse can be found here and here.

The mobile phone that Lucy uses isn’t a smart one. It is interesting to explore with learners how technology is changing the context for stalking behaviours.

Scene 1 – Nathan persuades Lucy not to go to school

How old are Lucy and Nathan? What do the students think is an acceptable age gap in teenage relationships?

Are we as a class worried about Nathan persuading Lucy to stay with him rather than returning to school? It could be just the start of the relationship that can often be intense but what would the warning signs (red flags) be?

This can be a useful point to discuss how bonding works in relationships and how it is an important phase that sees couples through more routine aspects of relationships such as housework and conversations about recycling. However, abusive relationships also follow this trajectory with abusers love-bombing their partner to speed up the attachment process and create dependency.

Scene 2 – Nathan and Andy talk in the garden centre

What do we think of Nathan’s response to Andy? Is it acceptable to tell friends about sexual activity with a partner?

Scene 3 – Lucy, Sarah and Matt watch a film

Is it acceptable to have friends of the opposite sex?

Scene 8 – Matt and Nathan meet at the pool bar

There is a lot to talk about in this scene: Andy makes a lewd comment to Lucy; why does she laugh it off? Why do people cat-call or make such comments? Who does Nathan blame for Andy doing this? Nathan asserts himself as Lucy’s boyfriend. Nathan tells Lucy to cover up.

Woman is assaulted for standing up to catcaller (scroll down for video)

Scene 10 – Nathan rapes Lucy (this is implied through the dialogue, music and visuals of the cloudy sky)

Case study – Reynhard Sinaga (scroll down for video)

The A-Z of Love and Sex (Channel 4) – ‘Making Love’ chapter

08.20 – Young woman describing her first experience of sex

13.28 – Young man describing his first experience of sex

Discuss with students how first sex takes place in each of the vignettes. Did the young woman in clip one give enthusiastic consent? She ended up in tears – what were the things that went wrong before, during and after?