ONE of its most influential voices will take the Power to End Violence Against Women program to a historic milestone next month.
Port Adelaide captain Tom Jonas will stand firm with the AFL’s first primary prevention initiative in Australia when he turns 140. school visits and 10,000 students at their stop at Blackwood High on Wednesday.
A Power to End Violence Against Women (PTEVAW) Ambassador from day one, Jonas will join Program Coordinator and Port Adelaide SANFL Captain Cam Sutcliffe to encourage Year 10 boys to model respectful relationships and challenge norms based on gender that can lead to abuse.
PTEVAW was developed in 2016 by Power Community Limited, the lead partner of Centacare Catholic Family Services and the Department of Education in an effort to influence future generations and address the prevalence of domestic and family violence.
On average, one woman per week dies in Australia at the hands of her current or former partner. Research shows that one in three women have experienced physical violence and one in five women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
Nationally recognized, PTEVAW initiates conversations with male students about the drivers of abuse to help them make informed decisions and become advocates for change, at school, at home, and in their wider community.
Students explore rights and responsibilities in relationships, personal values, recognizing disrespectful behavior, and being a positive bystander. They continue their learning at an annual leadership day and role modeling event.
Blackwood High has long been involved in the program and has introduced peer learning, where Year 11 students co-facilitate PTEVAW with their Year 10 counterparts as part of the school’s drive for comprehensive change.
“Port Adelaide Football Club is incredibly proud to engage its 10,000th student, in partnership with Centacare Catholic Family Services and the South Australian Government,” said Power Community Limited General Manager Jake Battifuoco.
“Together we have influenced change through conversations and empowerment, and while we have reached this milestone, we know we have a long way to go and remain committed to the cause.”
A 2018 Flinders University evaluation of PTEVAW, which recommended engaging women and girls in gender-based violence awareness, spawned the spin-off program, Empowered, in 2020. Delivered alongside PTEVAW, Empowered aims to enhance the sense self-positive of the participants and encourage critical thinking about gender equity and women’s rights.
In 2021-2022, the programs have so far involved 3,059 students in 27 schools.
“The milestone of 10,000 students is the realization of an idea that initially brought together two completely different organizations with a common goal: to prevent domestic violence by seeking to influence the base of values and thinking of young people at the earliest stage,” Pauline Connelly, director of Centacare. said.
Thirty-one AFL-listed players and six former Port Adelaide players have been involved with PTEVAW since its inception. The late great club Russell Ebert was recognized for his work around respectful relationships with the program in 2020 when he was named SA Local Hero at the SA Australian of the Year Awards.
“By virtue of its connection to Port Adelaide Football Club, the program is able to address a wider audience beyond the classroom,” said Ms Connelly.
“For students, having fun at follow-up events with their idols like Tom Jonas cements the experience and its message, which can act as a means of disrupting harmful bias.”
Primary prevention is a key approach to Consultation Report of Stakeholders of the National Plan published this month by the Australian government at the end of the new National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.
Stakeholders want to see a greater focus on changing the social conditions that support gender-based violence and highlight the role of education and community-wide responses as an important early intervention.
new research by the Australian National Research Organization for the Safety of Women (ANROWS) emphasizes the importance of centering the voices of young people in efforts to end violence against women and children.
“A long-term commitment to preventive education is urgently needed, as research suggests that many young people are already learning abusive behavior as a way of being in a relationship, even before starting one of their own,” said Ms Connelly.