Em’Power’ing young people to break cycle of violence against women

Aboriginal young people across the state will learn about respectful relationships in a bid to break the cycle of violence against women thanks to a unique new partnership between the Marshall Liberal Government and the Port Adelaide Football Club.

Developed in consultation with Aboriginal elders, up to 500 students from 65 secondary schools will take part in the new Respectful Relationships program across metropolitan and for the first time, the regions.

The $50,000 program will fund a total of 10 workshops, enabling the Port Adelaide Football Club to expand their already successful existing programs, the Power to End Violence and Empowered.

Respectful Relationships is tailored specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 10, 11 and 12. The culturally appropriate program will specifically address concerns around family violence in Aboriginal communities.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the new program was an invaluable addition to the curriculum for our young people.

“Our collective, ultimate aim is to end all forms of violence and that begins from a young age,” said Minister Lensink.

“The new Respectful Relationships program will engage with our young people to not only prevent violence against women but break the cycle before it’s too late.”

Young women in the program will be given the opportunity to attend a one-day leadership training aimed at promoting young women’s leadership and promoting a positive sense of self and identity.

Young men will have the opportunity to learn how to be active bystanders and challenge assumptions about gender roles and stereotypes.

“Meeting our sporting heroes can leave quite a mark on us, so it’s fantastic that understanding respectful relationships will be the important message imparted,” said Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power.

“Having attended a number of the student leadership days with Power Community Ltd I’ve seen firsthand how engaging – and fun – these workshops can be, and the Respectful Relationships program will support young people to learn skills in a way that is culturally appropriate and accessible.

“As a Government, we want to support our young people to grow as a generation that is empowered with the skills to develop and maintain respectful relationships and understand the responsibility we all have to ensure we end violence against women.”

Power Community Limited General Manager Jake Battifuoco said the program provides opportunities to facilitate conversations between young people about respectful relationships and to better understand the underlying drivers of violence.

“Through our Santos Aboriginal Power Cup we’ve already shown positive outcomes in school retention, attitudes to education, and school behaviours and now the Respectful Relationships programs will add to that good work,” said Mr Battifuoco.

The Marshall Liberal Government is investing $50,000 in this program, with funding from the Federal Government’s National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence response.

The program will run from Term 3 and into early 2022 and includes schools in Port Pirie, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, the Adelaide Hills, South East, Far North, Riverland, Ceduna and Murray Bridge.

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