Take up the Not Now, Not Ever challenge
All over Queensland, in our communities, schools, sporting clubs and workplaces people are taking up the Not Now, Not Ever challenge to put an end to domestic and family violence. Everyone can play a role in changing the culture and attitudes that underpin violence in the community.
During Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May, visit www.qld.gov.au/notnownotever to see what others are doing and to share how you’re taking up the challenge.
Gladstone high schools are working with local police and the Gladstone Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Family Violence (CCRDFV) to deliver a school-based domestic and family violence and sexual assault prevention program, Love Bites. Following 2 interactive workshops, students create artworks with violence-prevention messages, which will be displayed at Stockland Shopping Centre and auctioned at the end of the school year.
To see more films from the Not Now, Not Ever challenge go to website http://www.qld.gov.au/notnownotever
The whole collaboration started when the coordinated community response to domestic and family violence - they wanted to go into the schools and teach our students about respectful relationships.
So we looked around what programs we could look at, and we found the Love Bites, and we found that that then had the art component as well, and that's a good way then to link the students in with a medium that they enjoy doing.
So then we looked at, how can we promote it, how can we display it for the community to see?
So that's when we made contact with the Gladstone Art Gallery.
The students create some really important works, and we are able to showcase that, and having them know that their works aren't just going to be left in the room, they're going to be on display and shared within the community.
Art reaches audiences in a very unique way, and it evokes amazing responses within people. So we have a great opportunity here to reach a different type of audience.
It definitely educates everyone around the room, especially like in the future when we get into relationships and stuff like that; that it's not okay to do some of those things, and consent is always a major part, and that violence is never okay.
I was talking to some students and I said, 'Well, what did you get out of that?' And they said, 'I didn't even – I thought it only happened to women'.
And you know, raising awareness it actually happens to men as well, which comes as quite a shock.
So I think it's about taking things from behind closed doors, talking about them, raising awareness, educating the students, and so that they do understand what a healthy relationship is, and what it looks like.
It's saying that domestic violence is not okay now, and it will never be okay.
It should never be accepted as something that just happens.
People need to speak up and that it's all right to do so.
I feel that the hope is that the students learn that they have the right to feel safe, and as they grow and they have families themselves, they also pass on that lesson.
They're also there as good bystanders, so for their friends if they see an unsafe situation, they're able to help. We're not saying for anybody to put themselves in a dangerous situation, but just a simple phone call to police to help somebody, or going up to somebody and saying, 'Hey, are you okay, I heard what went on, how can we help?' is really important.