Implement Violence Prevention programs in Australian Schools
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The recent rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon and the abduction and 5 hour sexual assault of an 11 year old girl in Newcastle during broad daylight highlight a growing epidemic of domestic and sexual violence in Australia. While the majority of domestic and sexual assaults are perpetrated against women, men also fall victim to unacceptable violence. The same way we have anti-bullying programs to prevent bullying, we must implement anti-violence programs in our schools to address these issues.
We shake our heads at America and how they can't seem to acknowledge their gun violence problem. However we have a staggering problem of domestic and sexual violence in Australia which bears a similar oversight.
1 in 6 women and 1 in 16 men have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous partner
1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have been sexually assaulted or threatened.
On average 1 woman a week and 1 man a month is killed by a current or former partner.
Domestic and sexual violence is an epidemic in Australia that has been ignored for too long.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO STOP IT?
Programs like No Means No Worldwide "believe the key to ending the global rape epidemic is to empower both girls and boys to create a culture of mutual respect." Their 12-hour dual gender curricula "emphasizes interactive verbal skills, role playing and physical training. (They) keep lectures to a minimum and instead teach youth the practical, hands-on tools to speak up, prevent or intervene in an attack."
The program is taught to boys and girls between 10-20 years old and has an incredible success rate. "Wherever we teach, the incidence of rape drops by 50%. Girls learn to identify risk, say “no” and talk their way out of trouble. If that “no” is not respected, they also learn physical skills to back it up. Boys learn to challenge rape myths, ask for consent and intervene if they anticipate or witness predatory behavior."
We call on the Australian Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Burmingham, to help us to implement or create a program similar to No Means No Worldwide. This program would address domestic and violence issues at a preventative stage. Given consistent use in all schools across Australia, this program would decrease violence perpetrated against women and men and be a huge step in the right direction to creating a less violent, safer and more respectful Australia.
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