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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Respecting the Multiple: Toward a multicultural perspective on family violence awareness in secondary schools.

By Didem Caia, RMIT university, CSW, 2020

Didem is a PhD Candidate at RMIT University. Her policy paper discusses Respecting the Multiple: Toward a multi-cultural perspective on family violence awareness in secondary schools.

Executive Summary

While ‘domestic violence’ is a term that is commonly applied to intimate partner violence, ‘family violence’ is a term that takes children and adolescents into consideration. Children were previously considered "silent witnesses" to family violence. Research indicates that children and adolescents may be involved in family violence, including being forced to watch or participate in assaults or intervening to stop violence from occurring (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017). However, for women and children from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, family violence can also include a wider context of gender specific violence including: sexual violence; forced marriage; female genital mutilation and honour killings (Buckley & Holt, 2007). The Victorian Government’s Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women and Children recommends using a strong, practical approach to inform targeted primary prevention measures such as education. Consequently, this paper recommends a multi-sector approach to co-designing diverse, multi-cultural teaching modules for Australian secondary school students in years 9-12. This builds on the Victorian Government’s Respectful Relationships program to address knowledge gaps around cultural attitudes at the intersections of Gender equality and violence against women and children.

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