The Australian state of Victoria has just replaced the religious instruction curriculum with a teaching and learning unit named Respectful Relationships.
The new curriculum unit will start in primary school and end in Grade 10.
A spokesman for the Victorian Assessment and Curriculum Authority (VCAA) said that “students will build an understanding of what ‘constitutes and characterises’ respectful relationships in the home, school and community”. In New South Wales (NSW), from the start of the 2016 school year, Grade 8, 9 and 10 students will be taught how to recognise – and possibly prevent – domestic violence in their households.
The initiative has been praised by high-profile Australians such as Moo Baulch, CEO of Domestic Violence NSW (DVNSW), an organisation dedicated to the elimination of domestic and family violence through leadership in policy, advocacy, partnerships and the promotion of best practice.
In Australia, one woman in three experiences intimate partner violence in her lifetime, and more than one woman dies every week at the hands of her partner or ex-partner.
Baulch said all Australian schools should include classes about the scourge of domestic violence. Of the NSW programme, she said: “[It’s] going that extra step and naming domestic violence and talking about what that looks like in relationships – whether that is for young people in their relationships or whether they’re one of the one million Australian children who are growing up in domestic households where domestic violence is occurring.”
Category: Summer 2015