Centacare Catholic Family Services has partnered with Port Adelaide Football Club and the Department for Education to influence young men about respectful relationships through the Power to End Violence Against Women (PTEVAW) program.
Almost 7000 male Year 10 school students have participated in the program since it began in 2016, learning about respect, trust, gender equality, healthy relationships and the dangers of abusive behaviour.
The PTEVAW initiative was launched in response to the shocking prevalence of violence against women and teaches young men that domestic violence is a choice.
Students learn how to recognise and safely stand up to gendered drivers of abuse.
Research shows one in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15 with around 10 women hospitalised each day for assault injuries perpetrated by a spouse or domestic partner.
PTEVAW is delivered by Power Community Ltd under the leadership of Program Coordinator Cameron Sutcliffe.
“We understand that as role models within the community, we have an important role to play in encouraging young men to care about the women in their lives, and to treat them respectfully.”
“In many families, children don’t have the opportunity to be offered another way of thinking about relationships.”
Pauline Connelly |Deputy Director, Centacare
A 2018 research evaluation of PTEVAW found its positive messages “stick”. Year 11 students, who had taken part in the program the previous year, recalled content on respectful relationships and positive bystanding. For example, challenging low-level behaviours by calling out sexist banter.
“It’s early days, but if we are seeing changes just in the way students are communicating with the facilitators and engaging, that gives us great hope as to what changes the future has in store for these boys as they grow into men,” said Deputy Director Pauline Connelly.
“In many families, children don’t have the opportunity to be offered another way of thinking about relationships. Some grow up learning violence is a form of communication and getting what you want.”
“Through this program they are learning that having a respectful relationship is a way two people both can get what they want.”
For more information about the PTEVAW program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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