The RESPECT project is a singing and songwriting project focused on educating boys under 12 about the nature and causes of Family and Domestic Violence, particularly around gender stereotypes and anger management, and how they can lend their voices to being active agents of change. This 12 week early intervention harm reduction project takes place in primary school with facilitators who are also professional musicians, working alongside Family Violence counsellors. The learning style emphasises open discussion, allowing participants to solidify their learning about acceptable behaviour in relationships.
Participants write and rehearse an original song, and perform it at their school assembly, and at a showcase at Bankstown Central Shopping Centre, which is packed with audiences. The song is also filmed and made into a professional film clip, which is released online, garnering thousands of views.
The program transforms young men into active agents of social change and role models in their schools. This project has been assessed by Murdoch university as a model project that leads to long term change in the boys that are a part of it. It has been proven to increase awareness and understanding of Domestic Violence & healthy relationships in 98% of participants. Teachers tell us about the culture of the school shifting over the years that we return.
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Social Services, and the Bankstown Communities for Children partnership through The Smith Family.