Stop­ping do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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.

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