Thursday, 2 July 2015

Domestic Violence education for NSW. Will Victoria follow?

from the Sydney Morning Herald

Three months ago, a 14-year-old girl wrote to NSW government, weeks after the suicide death of her mother, and asked them to "educate children about domestic violence and how to seek help".

Today, her wish comes true as a raft of major changes are announced to the 7-10 school syllabus that will specifically focus on domestic violence prevention.

Rachel's powerful letter said that if domestic violence had been addressed in her class, she would have recognised that what was happening inside her own home was not normal and helped "save" her mum. 

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward revealed it was those words – and Rachel's extraordinary bravery in speaking out – that ultimately triggered the reforms, adding: "Through this update to the syllabus, schools can provide a significant platform for helping young people to identify, report and protect themselves and others from abuse."

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli confirmed that following consultation with numerous stakeholders, amendments to the 7-10 Personal Development, Health and Education syllabus had been approved at the Board of Studies, Teaching and Education Standards (BOSTES) NSW meeting a fortnight ago. The changes will be introduced from the first school term in 2016.

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