02 March 2021
TRISH DOYLE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
LABOR CALLS FOR URGENT FUNDING OF RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION FOR HIGH SCHOOLS
NSW Labor has called on the Berejiklian Government to urgently fund an early intervention program that discusses healthy relationships, consent and domestic violence following alarming reports of the sexual assault of female high school students by their male peers in Sydney.
A NSW Budget Estimates inquiry today heard that a high school program called Love Bites, offered by NAPCAN,* is ready to be rolled out to more schools but does not have the core funding it needs to expand.
The Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Trish Doyle said the program provides the perfect opportunity to support a primary prevention measure that aims to change attitudes and stop violence against women before it begins.
“Love Bites is one of the longest running and most popular respectful relationship programs across Australia that has impacted thousands of young people,” she said.
Following the recent revelation of the prevalence of high school sexual assault, Love Bites staff have reported increased demand for the program in Sydney high schools.
NAPCAN is currently seeking only $250,000 in core funding to train more facilitators and make the program more widely available.
“Some local communities are holding fundraisers to fund this excellent program,” Ms Doyle said.
“Why is the Government absolving responsibility for primary prevention programs such as this one?
“Schools have a role to play in preventing violence in our community. This program is needed now more than ever.”
Ms Doyle said the Government is aware of the success of Love Bites and many of the program’s facilitators are state government employees.
Today Labor questioned the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Mark Speakman and suggested strong action not talk.
*National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
TUESDAY, 2 MARCH 2021