Respectful Relationships Teaching Support Program
- Western Australia
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Primary prevention is key
- 1 Advance gender equality and respect for women through effective primary prevention initiatives.
- 3 Implement targeted primary prevention activities designed by, and tailored for, the specific communities they are intended to support.
- 5 Promote healthy and safe relationships and build gender equitable values through initiatives for children and young people.
What are we doing?
The Western Australian Government’s Path to Safety: Western Australia’s strategy to reduce family and domestic violence 2020-2030 includes a priority action to support and implement primary prevention programs (such as those focused on healthy, respectful relationships and gender equality) across settings and cohorts.
The Respectful Relationships Teaching Support Program is a new, schools-focused initiative introduced in 2019.
What have we achieved so far?
The program was established to start in the 2019 school year with 44 primary and secondary schools, from across the State, selecting to participate to date.
The program’s design is informed by the growing body of research, policy and practice in primary prevention in school settings and is specifically tailored to the state’s educational context and curriculum. Delivery includes e-learning, face-to-face workshops, and ongoing program support (including an online forum and resources, email, phone and school visits) tailored to the specific needs of participating schools. Program delivery and support is provided by a local family and domestic violence organisation with experience in violence prevention education.
What is next?
Continue with program delivery to the current cohort of participating schools. In addition to schools from metropolitan Perth, Cohort 4 includes a majority of regional schools from across the Midwest-Gascoyne, Goldfields, Wheatbelt and Pilbara regions of Western Australia. An end of project forum will be delivered to all participating schools at the beginning of 2022.
An independent evaluation of the four-year pilot program is underway and will be finalised at completion of the program in 2022.
In 2021, the Western Australian Government committed to continuing the program past June 2022 and expanding its reach to an additional 12 schools per year. The independent evaluation will inform the program expansion. The Western Australian Government have also committed to expand the Respectful Relationships approach to local sport and recreation clubs and organisations.
What difference will we make?
The Program supports public schools to deliver Respectful Relationships education within the context of the curriculum, and to implement whole school approaches to respectful relationships and gender equality. The program is assisting schools to support and educate students that violence is not acceptable and to promote healthy and respectful relationships in the community as well as reinforcing work already being done in many Western Australian public schools to support students with building future relationships characterised by non-violence, equality, mutual respect and trust.