The Equal, Safe and Strong school project is a pilot program currently being implemented in three secondary schools located across the Bayside, Glen Eira and Kingston local council areas.
The project aims to:
- increase knowledge of violence against women
- increase early intervention strategies in students
- build the capacity of teachers to appropriately respond to instances of family violence
- foster stronger integration between local services providers and schools
SMPCP'S Family Violence Working Group and facilitating organisation ShantiWorks are working alongside each school to identify appropriate students to receive training to become peer-leaders. Trained students will then present a component of the training to their peers within the school setting and pass on their new understanding of gender equity and violence against women. School staff will be trained in preventing violence against women and supporting project implementation within the school.
Research has indicated that best practice principles for school based programs targeting family violence have the most success when parents are involved as part of a whole of school approach. The Equal, Safe and Strong project offers information and support to parents as part of the program
The first phase of the project has been completed and involved the development of collaborative processes between ShantiWorks and the SMPCP Family Violence Working Group.
Phase II took place across Term 1 , 2016 and saw ShantiWorks and the project officer focus on the development of resources and training content for teachers and students and the delivery of teacher training sessions.
Expected activities for the next phase of the project include implementation of parent information sessions and the student program . The project will be evaluated and completed by June 2016.
It is expected that the benefits of the Project will reach beyond the students and staff involved and it is hoped that sustainable messages will be taken away by students and staff to communicate throughout the school, their families and the general community.
The program was presented as a poster at the 2015 Stop Domestic Violence Conference in Canberra.
Download Conference Poster...1.89 MB