11 December 2013
A violence prevention program targeting children aged nine to 12 was the recipient of the Community Award at last night’s ACT Partners in Prevention Awards at the ACT Legislative Assembly.
The ACT Partners in Prevention Awards recognise best practice programs that create awareness of gendered violence, or programs that work to prevent violence and sexual assault against women and children in the ACT.
An initiative of the YWCA of Canberra, Respect, Communicate Choose aims to equip young people with the tools and support they need to develop and practice equal, safe and respectful relationships.
The YWCA of Canberra’s Executive Director, Frances Crimmins said she was honoured to accept the award.
“The YWCA of Canberra is dedicated to eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, and Respect, Communicate, Choose demonstrates the importance of taking an evidence-based approach to preventing this community wide issue.”
“I applaud the dedication and professionalism of our staff, who are integral to the success of this initiative, and thank the collaborating schools and teachers for integrating this program into their school culture.”
Respect, Communicate, Choose aims to prevent violence by building young people’s skills to negotiate non-violent, gender equitable relationships, assess options for accessing help, and create a respectful school environment.
Ms Crimmins said it was crucial to work with grade five and six students to develop respectful relationships, as they are particularly vulnerable as they transition to adolescence.
“Research tells us that interventions targeting children in this age group can help them reach their full potential, but they are often overlooked. Respect, Communicate, Choose provides students with opportunities to interrogate gender roles and stereotypes before they begin negotiating intimate relationships.”