Preventing violence against women starts with ‘Relationship Things’

14 October 2014

This Friday 17 October, YWCA Canberra will mark the international YWCA Week Without Violence by relaunching Relationship Things, a sex education resource that emphasises respectful relationships.

Launched at a panel event in partnership with the ANU Gender Institute, ‘Relationship Things: what young people need to know’, will bring together experts to explore topics such as negotiating consent, how to teach respectful relationships and new approaches to sex education.

Frances Crimmins, Executive Director of YWCA Canberra, said Relationship Things has never been more needed in our community.

Relationship Things builds skills and awareness in young people to recognise respectful behaviour, to behave with respect in their relationships, and to negotiate issues like safe sex and consent in both online and offline environments.

“The program covers topics that are not featured in mainstream sex education programs, such as negotiating same sex relationships, being respectful in online behaviour, and critically, has a gender equality analysis woven throughout.

“Recent statistics show that violence against women continues to be a huge issue in our community, with over two-thirds of all Australian women experiencing at least one form of violence in their life time.

“We also know that young women are at a greater risk of being victims of violence – one in seven girls aged12- 20 have experienced rape or sexual assault. This is utterly unacceptable.

“When we look at these issues from a global perspective, the situation is even more dire, making initiatives like YWCA Week Without Violence that much more important.

“This event is an important step in the direction of a whole-of-community approach, to ensure young people are equipped with the tools and knowledge to have respectful, equal relationships,” said Ms Crimmins.

Frances Crimmins will be joined by four expert panellists:

  • Fiona MacGregor, Director of Community Services, YWCA Canberra
  • Angela Christian-Wilkes, Year 12 student
  • Heidi Yates, Chair, ACT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Ministerial Advisory Council
  • Sergeant Joanne Cameron, Australian Federal Police

This event is open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to participate in the Q & A session, or to join the conversation through Twitter using hashtags #RelationshipThings and #WWV14.

For more information about the international YWCA Week Without Violence, please visit the World YWCA website.

Event details

When: Friday October 17, 10.30am – 12.30pm.
Where: The Law Link Lecture Theatre, Australian National University
RSVP to by COB Thursday October 16.

Frances Crimmins is available for interview.

Media contact: Zoya Patel, 02 6175 9916 or 0406 249 786

Full media release

About YWCA Canberra: YWCA Canberra is a feminist, not-for-profit community organisation that has been providing community services and representing women’s issues in the Canberra community since its establishment in 1929. YWCA Canberra employs more than 350 staff across the ACT, and delivers 30 quality programs in children’s services, community development, housing, youth services, women’s leadership, advocacy, and training. Represented in 122 countries, the YWCA has a global reach of 25 million women and girls. As part of this international movement, YWCA Canberra works for a world where reconciliation, justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women’s leadership. For more information visit:

Comments are closed.