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Loves-Me-Not Relationship Education Workshop for Year 12 students

Mrs S Porter, Assistant Principal (Wellbeing) —

Loves-Me-Not uses a whole school approach and a one-day workshop for Year 12 students to explore healthy relationships and the difficult subject of relationship abuse and consent. We feel that this is a very important workshop that our students should have access to.

When: OGHS will be offering this workshop on Friday July 2nd during the school day.

Students may wear tidy mufti to school that day. They need to bring their lunch and a drink bottle with them. The workshop will be delivered by specially trained facilitators who have be trained by the Police.

Teaching staff and the school Guidance Counsellor will be available to provide extra support if needed throughout the day.

We will assume that all our Year 12 students will be attending this workshop, unless you contact me to alert me of specific concerns/reservations you have. Email: jce@otagogirls.school.nz

Background Information

Following the death of Sophie Elliot at the hands of a former boyfriend it became clear that she had been in a typically abusive relationship. It was also evident that neither Sophie nor her mother, Lesley, had been able to see where things were going wrong. The conclusion was that if these two intelligent adults couldn’t see the signs then many others would be in the same situation.

A foundation was formed in Sophie’s name aimed at lowering the levels of domestic violence through education. In 2013 the Sophie Elliott Foundation partnered with the New Zealand Police and the Ministry of Social Development to develop Loves-Me-Not.

The workshop component of Loves-Me-Not is delivered by facilitators trained by Police. The facilitators comprise of a teacher, a police officer and can include a representative of a non-governmental organisation working in the field of family violence prevention. The workshop is linked to the NZ Curriculum so that schools and students are still achieving educational outcomes, whilst looking at an important social issue.

The workshop is incorporated into a whole school approach that enables a culture of respectful relationships in the school community. Loves-Me-Not provides opportunities for students to plan and take action themselves to influence their school and wider community to prevent abuse.

View Dr. Nigel Latta’s Youtube Clip “Introduction to Loves-Me-Not” below:

https://youtu.be/c-gt7QG7GEc

Intent and purpose

The long-term outcome sought from Loves-Me-Not is that young people live their lives free from the harm of unhealthy and abusive relationships.

Loves-Me-Not focuses on healthy (equal) relationships as opposed to unhealthy (controlling) ones. Through education, young people are able to recognise:

  • if they are in an abusive relationship, and how to get help before it becomes more difficult to leave

  • if any of their behaviours are abusive and controlling, and get help to change these behaviours before they harm someone

  • the early signs of abuse and make early choices to reject abusive relationships.

Insidious behaviour is often dismissed during the early stages of a relationship, when things are new and exciting. However, once someone has taken the power away from another person, it is often very difficult for the victim to get out. Therefore, in Loves-Me-Not students:

  • explore qualities of good relationships

  • recognise early signs of relationship abuse

  • understand sexual consent, what it means, and why they need it

  • apply critical thinking about who is advantaged by societal myths, and how these myths may perpetuate relationship abuse and acts of sexual abuse

  • explore if, when and how to be an active bystander

  • are encouraged to ‘take action for change’ for themselves, their friends and family, and the wider community to have safer communities together.