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Students Learn about Family Violence against Women – from Past to Present

Today, a number of students from southern Tasmanian high schools attended a White Ribbon morning tea alongside their teachers, Madam Speaker and senior executives of the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Education. This collaborative event supports the aim of raising awareness of the issue of violence against women, to reinforce that violence is never acceptable and that we each have a responsibility to act, to promote the importance of gender equity in our communities, schools, workplaces and families.

Court judgements were used to illustrate the view of violence against women in Tasmania’s early days and drew comparisons with how this has changed today and what progress is being made in society on this important issue. One of the ways we change attitudes is to talk to the young people of Tasmania and provide opportunities for learning through our education system.

Our policy clearly articulates the Department’s zero-tolerance stance to all forms of violence, and expresses the Department’s commitment to be a leader in driving changes in attitudes that underpin family violence and violence against women.

Being involved with White Ribbon has built on the progress our Department has already made in contributing towards the Safe Homes, Safe Families plan, our Respectful Schools – Respectful Workplaces program and the Departmental values identified in the Learners First Strategic Plan: Equity and Respect.

Respectful Relationships Education is a whole community approach to teaching and reinforcing a culture of creating and maintaining respectful relationships with everyone. It is pivotal to ensuring schools support students to understand and build respectful relationships throughout life and support attitudinal change to family violence. At the centre of this initiative is our online and publicly available resource titled the Respectful Relationships Education package. It identifies strategies, processes and skills to guide schools and communities in the explicit teaching of respectful relationships.