3H Key transition points in the schooling years
R4Respect – Young People empowering their peers towards respectful relationships
Criteria 1 Focus on Prevention
R4Respect is a youth participation model that counters the prevalence of domestic and family violence through youth delivery of gender-based respectful relationships education. The respectful relationships approach established by YFS Ltd in 2015 educates young people through face to face education, creative technology and community events with messages consistent with the National Plan and work of Our Watch. The model features a peer to peer learning framework.
The R4Respect program is unique in that not only are the young people educating their peers, they are also developing the program, through an adult-youth alliance providing input into program development, structure and vision.
Practitioners in the family and children support field are increasingly working at the interface of domestic violence and child protection. There is a positive focus on early and preventative programs in family violence. R4Respect’s youth ambassadors deliver the respectful relationships workshop, challenging their peers about the harm that unhealthy relationship behaviours can cause by facilitating understandings of consent; the dangers of control and coercion, cat-calling, victim-blaming and gender stereotypes. There is also an emphasis on informing young people about digital abuse including sexting, revenge pornography and cyberbullying consequences and supports available.
It can be difficult to reach young people who are the most marginalised. The peer to peer education model uses creative digital communications, such as the development of colourful engaging films for young people, promoting respect in relationships, reaching around 1700+ young people online. These clips have been highly endorsed by Dr Heather Nancarrow CEO of ANROWS who stated that, “[The clips] effectively reach [their] target audience to end coercive control and sexual harassment.”
R4Respect youth ambassadors would present in a way that is engaging, including by screening the developed, ‘Don’t be a Bad Apple’ clips. In addition, the impact of the peer to peer education aspect of R4Respect is currently being evaluated through ANROWS funding. This evaluation of the impact of peer to peer education would be helpful to other practitioners engaged in this work. We believe the influence of peer to peer education is a powerful force for positive change, as young people are able to be the change, making sure no young people are left behind.
Beenush Khokhar -Completed Bachelor of Law (Hons) at QUT in 2017 -Started a university Women’s Collective at QUT -Worked at the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service as a Domestic Violence Specialist Worker. -Volunteered at Women’s Legal Service assisting with DV Duty Lawyer service. -R4Respect youth ambassador for 2 years before took on coordination of R4Respect Program from October 2017.
Nadia Saeed – Studying Business at Griffith University – Works as R4Respect casual worker, after being an R4Respect youth ambassador for 1.5 years. – Worked at Queensland Islamic Council Queensland organising muslim youth events.