Stopping domestic violence
THE story of a 16-yearold girl who was brutally bashed to near death by her ex-boyfriend was one of the topics discussed by Whitsunday Christian College students in the Love Bites program on Monday.
Love Bites is an interactive school-based program which was developed to educate young people about respectful relationships and reduce the incidence of relationship violence in the community.
Leah Anderson from Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling said Love Bites was about dispelling myths, creating awareness and public perception in order to break the cycle of abuse.
“A crucial part of the primary prevention of relationship violence is to focus on educating children and young people about having respectful relationships,” she said.
“The message isn’t just black and white, there are so many things that can be factors of sexual assault and domestic abuse which is why we encourage children to debate and share their opinions.”
Love Bites focuses on the prevention of relationship violence through the discussion of gender deconstruction, sexual harassment and bystander strategies that complement the Health and Physical Education curriculum.
Ms Anderson said the story of Angela Barker was represented through a powerful DVD, Loves Me, Loves Me Not, as part of the Federal campaign ‘Violence Against Women Australia Says No’.
Whitsunday Police senior constable Jodi Mas- sey, who was also in attendance, said the program was an eyeopening experience for the students.
Ms Anderson said students would be encouraged to take their message to the community by creating individual artworks reflecting what they had learned.
The artwork will be presented by Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling during National Child Protection Week from Sunday, September 1 – 7.
For more information, visit www.napcan.org.au.
LIFE LESSONS: Whitsunday Christian College senior Health students Deon Ball, Samantha Topp, Logan Kohler and Alli Ladd learned about having respectful relationships with Whitsunday police senior constable Jodi Massey and Leah Anderson and Peta Franklin from Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service in the Love Bites program on Monday.