Sue Ellery

Sue Ellery

Minister for Child Protection; Communities; Women's Interests; Seniors and Volunteering

    High school boy breaks new ground in domestic and dating violence.

    14/12/2007 11:01 AM

    A Year 10 student who single-handedly raised $50,000 for a project to counsel young people on domestic and teen dating violence will see his project delivered in six Western Australian schools next year, after Lotterywest backed the venture today.

    Child Protection and Communities Minister Sue Ellery said that Scotch College student Jordan Fogarty’s fundraising efforts in 2005 had resulted in the development of a successful high school program which had improved students’ attitudes towards, and understanding of, healthy family and intimate partner relationships.

    “Lotterywest has pledged more than $114,000 in funding so that this innovative project can continue for another year and reach students in more schools across WA,”
    Ms Ellery said.

    “With the help of the Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services, the program was piloted in two schools this year - Coodanup Community College in Mandurah and Cecil Andrews Senior High School in Armadale - and had a very positive impact on teenage students.

    “An independent evaluation of the program reveals a clear shift in the attitudes of students before and after they participated in the program.

    “There was increased understanding among teenagers that family and domestic violence and teen dating violence involves more than physical abuse.

    “More students after participating in the program also acknowledged that the victim of domestic violence does not ‘cause’ it and that the perpetrator is responsible for the violence.”

    A total of 20 Year Eight to 12 students from both schools were trained as peer educators to deliver information about teenage dating violence and family and domestic violence to their classmates.

    They developed awareness-raising activities to pass on the information in ways that were interesting and appealing to their peers.

    Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA) executive officer Angela Hartwig welcomed Lotterywest’s commitment to support the project.

    “Twenty five per cent of children and young people in Australia are affected by family and domestic violence and one-third of young people in dating relationships experience teen dating violence, ” Ms Hartwig said.

    “Exposure to violence as a child or adolescent has serious negative physical, social and psychological consequences including injury, anxiety and depression, behavioural issues and impaired social skills, to name just a few.

    “We also know that witnessing violence in the home often leads to young people developing inappropriate norms about violence and aggression, attitudes that increase their risk of becoming involved in abusive relationships in adulthood.

    “Young people are the adults, parents and leaders of our future and that is why early intervention projects like these are so vitally important.”

    In 2004-05, Jordan raised $50,000 as part of his International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program.

    The State Government matched his funding to help the creation of the Domestic and Dating Violence Peer Education Program.

    The Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services developed the project in partnership with the Family and Domestic Violence Unit and the Department of Education and Training.

    Minister's office - 9213 7150