Day to end gender based violence

Colour powder, dancing, music, photo booth, lots of chocolate and a bake sale- all ingredients for a memorable, fun filled and important day.

On Wednesday the 17th of October, Fitzroy High school held ‘Day to end gender based violence’. An important day with a very important message.

The 2015 Royal commission into family violence concluded:
‘There is no doubt that violence against women and children is deeply rooted in power imbalances that are reinforced by gender norms and stereotypes. Factors such as intergenerational abuse and trauma, exposure to violence as a child, social and economic exclusion, financial pressures, drug and alcohol misuse and mental illness can also be associated with family violence. These factors can combine in complex ways to influence the risk of an individual perpetrating family violence or becoming a victim of such violence’.

‘If we are to prevent family violence we must change the attitudes and social conditions that give rise to it. There is a need to implement primary prevention strategies that are designed to dismantle harmful attitudes towards women, promote gender equality and encourage respectful relationships. Because family violence takes many forms, a variety of approaches is required. Some programs should be addressed to the Victorian community as a whole, others to particular population groups and places. Educating young people about respectful relationships must be a core part of the Victorian Government’s long-term prevention strategy’.

In 2017, the ‘Resilience, Rights & Respectful Relationships’ curriculum was introduced and mandated in government schools and since the beginning of the roll-out, Fitzroy High school has been a lead school for the implementation of said initiative.

As part of our RRRR work, we decided to come up with a ‘statement of commitment to end gender based violence’. If you would like to read it, you will find it as part of this newsletter. The statement of commitment had staff and student input and was made into a film clip. This clip will feature on our website shortly.

I felt it was important that the ‘statement of commitment to end gender based violence’ was not just something we made and never spoke about again. I wanted to make a big deal out of it. A day that would be fun and memorable, but also a day where students got to think and feel and be involved. So, with little notice, the amazing staff at Fitzroy high got behind the idea and we ended up having a very successful ‘Day to end gender based violence’.

As part of this day, all students listened to ‘Fitzroy Legal Services’ talk about family violence and the law, they watched the launch of the ‘statement of commitment to end gender based violence’ film clip and they had the opportunity to participate in the ‘clothesline project’ where they got to be creative with anti-violence messages on t-shirts. We wanted the day to also be a celebration of the caring and inclusive school we are, with an added bonus of raising a small amount of funds for ‘Northern Integrated Family Violence Services’ (NIFVS). During recess we played some fun games, like ‘shoe toss’ and ‘coin curling’, we had a photo booth, hair braiding, face painting and a bake sale. During lunch we went crazy at the big colour dance party.

It is on days like these I am particularly proud and happy to be part of the wonderful Fitzroy high community.

I hope you will enjoy the photos from the big day.

Best,

Linda Ekman

Wellbeing Leader