BCS’ commitment to eliminating violence, particularly against women, has been acknowledged with over $380,000 in funding for an early intervention project encouraging students to engage in respectful relationships.
The successful BCS community project will teach Year Nine students in Sydney’s inner west, Penrith, Wollongong and Wyong areas about the importance of respectful relationships.
BCS LifeCare Counselling & Family Services will begin conducting regular sessions in the second half of 2010, teaching students ethical behaviour and equipping them with skills necessary to engage in respectful relationships based on mutual respect.
As part of the funding, the Government will evaluate the best practice Respectful Relationships projects, to find the best ways to change attitudes towards violence against women and their children.
BCS LifeCare General Manager, Robert McPaul, is hopeful that BCS’ relationship program will be effective in numerous ways.
“If we can establish, through sound evaluation, that the program is effective in changing attitudes towards women and children, then we will have made a life-changing difference for many future Australian families,” said Mr McPaul
“Success would also provide BCS with an opportunity to both expand the program and to replicate it around Australia,” he said.
In her press release Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, said nearly one in three Australian women experience physical violence in their lifetime.
"The Rudd Government has zero tolerance when it comes to violence against women and their children.
"To prevent violence against women in the future, we need to change attitudes and behaviour. These programs will work with young people in schools and sporting clubs to give them skills to build and maintain respectful relationships for life," Ms Plibersek said.
The Australian Government’s Respectful Relationships Program saw ten organisations provided with $2.1million in total, to create and implement early-intervention programs for young people.
BCS LifeCare Counselling & Family Services operates a variety of programs and counselling services for individuals, couples and families in the Bankstown, Campbelltown, Penrith and Central Coast areas.
BCS’ LifeCare division is renowned as a leader in specialised domestic violence programs and counselling, and is one of only few providers who offer assistance to men who want to take responsibility and stop using violence in their relationships.