White Ribbon Respectful Relationships
‘Breaking the Silence’ Project
Sydney Region has been working in partnership with the White Ribbon Day Foundation in the development of respectful relationships and violence prevention school based programs.
Engaging men in prevention of violence against women is a relatively new field. Evaluations of respectful relationships programs in schools have cited the support of the school principal as a critical pre-requisite for the long term success of programs to help prevent violence.
In 2009, a small group of male Principals and School Education Directors met with the Regional Director and the White Ribbon Foundation to strengthen their knowledge about best practice approaches for men in key positions to influence and support school communities to address violence against women.
In 2010 and 2011 the Sydney Region White Ribbon program ‘Breaking the Silence ‘has been further developed to include both male and female principals. Schools participate in three workshops over the year that have been organised to motivate and engage school principals to introduce a culture of change and respectful behaviours within their school communities.
All schools across the region have been approached to take part in the Breaking the Silence ‘Not Silent, Not Violent’ Art and Poetry Exhibition. This is seen as a catalyst to enable schools to begin to have conversations about this sensitive but important issue.