In this section:

Respectful Relationships

Responsible government

  • Victoria

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 1 Advance gender equality and respect for women through effective primary prevention initiatives.

What are we doing?

The Respectful Relationships initiative supports schools and early childhood settings to promote and model respect, positive attitudes and behaviours. It teaches our children how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence.

The 2020-21 Victorian Budget invested $37.5 million to continue the Respectful Relationships initiative for a further four years.

This builds on the $44.6 million invested by the Victorian Government since the beginning of the initiative to commence implementation of the whole school approach to Respectful Relationships.

What have we achieved so far?

The Victorian Curriculum provides the basis for teaching and learning about respectful relationships and identifies the knowledge, skills and understanding for students to be able to engage in respectful relationships. All Victorian Government and Catholic schools deliver the Victorian Curriculum. Schools are supported to deliver the curriculum through the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships, and Building Respectful Relationships teaching and learning resources.

More than 1,950 Victorian government, Catholic and independent schools are driving change within their school community by implementing the Respectful Relationships whole-school approach recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

All Victorian government schools are now signed on to the Respectful Relationships initiative, meeting recommendation 189 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The Respectful Relationships initiative also includes professional learning to strengthen the capacity of up to 7,700 early childhood educators in Victorian Government-funded kindergarten programs to promote respectful relationships, positive attitudes and behaviours within their integrated teaching approach, to enable children to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence.

What is next?

The Victorian Government is committed to the continued implementation of Respectful Relationships education in every government school in Victoria from prep to year 12 as recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Schools will receive continued support from their Respectful Relationships Area based team to implement the whole-school approach.

Respectful Relationships professional learning is also available for early childhood educators.

What difference will we make?

Helping children develop an understanding of healthy relationships and respect is key to preventing family violence in the future.

Respectful Relationships is defined as ‘primary prevention’ within the public health model. Primary prevention focuses on preventing issues from occurring in the first place by targeting risk factors and social determinants of health through education and legislation.

Respectful Relationships takes a whole-school approach. This means going beyond curriculum delivery alone, to create more gender equal and respectful attitudes, behaviours, structures and practices across the school culture.

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