Ten years of promoting healthy relationships

Cowra High School Year 10 students took part in a serious conversation around healthy relationships and avoiding domestic violence and sexual assault with the Lovebites program returning for 2019.

Facilitators from a range of support services across the Cowra community attended to address the statistics that around one in three to four girls and one in five to eight boys will experience unwanted sexual experiences before they are 18 and one in three young people will experience some form of violence in their own relationship.

The gathered facilitators said it was important students addressed the subject and end the cycle of violence.

"This is the most important conversation we should be having," they said.

"Because it's changing society's views and it's changing the concept of what a healthy relationship looks like.

"So that kids are aware of what a healthy relationship is and that domestic violence or sexual assault is not ok.

"Changing the next generation's perspective of what a healthy relationship is and we are hoping this generation will be the one to make the change," they said.

The facilitators said they had already seen a change between the students taking part in the program compared to the students who had previously done the program

"The program has been at Cowra High for 10 years, the kids are talking about it more and are more open," they said.

"The stigma is shaken from it, you can say sexual assault and domestic violence in a classroom and everyone will have heard of it and the multitude of tiers involved in it, it's not just violence or forcing them to have sex there's lots of different ways.

"I think we hear kids using the language about crossing the line now, which is them critically thinking about what is acceptable and what isn't," they said.

The group thanked Cowra Information and Neighbourhood Centre's Donnah Chown for bringing them together.

"A big thank you to Donnah for organising the day, it is a huge effort and it's really valued," they said.

"Thanks to Cowra High School for allowing us to come and hold the program in their school.

"We want to keep doing this program until we don't need to anymore. Every child should take part in the program, it would be a happier world if they were all informed on this.

"Statistically domestic violence and sexual assault will touch almost all of these kids lives so this program should be part of the curriculum for all schools.

"Part of the beauty of the program is it shows the range of services that are able to help and can see it is available," they said.

What do you think of the Lovebites program? Have your say