Brothers and sisters in arms tackle tough issue
FOR most students a free dress day is a chance to get out of wearing their uniform.
But for the students at North Rockhampton High School it was a chance to spark conversation about a confronting issue.
The sea of purple all stood together yesterday against domestic violence with an overwhelming message - not now, not ever.
Student Mariah Jones believes domestic and family violence is one of the most important messages to be addressed in high schools and that talking about the issue is very important.
"There's always help available,” she said.
"It's never okay and not enough people speak out when the situation turns bad.”
North Rockhampton High School has implemented a number of domestic violence awareness programs to educate students.
They include Love Bites and Respectful Relationships.
Acting Senior Constable Kellie Knight says these types of programs focus on educating the students on the early signs of violence and how it can happen to anyone.
"The aim is to really hit home to young people that violence isn't tolerated in our community,” Snr Const Knight said.
"One woman is killed every week in Australia at the hand of domestic and family violence... so this conversation definitely needs to be had.”
Although violence against women is unfortunately most common, student Jakob Baynton learnt that violence does not discriminate on gender or age.
The program gave him insight on issues he never knew before about domestic violence and its impact on families.
"Children can be impacted too,” he said.
"The amount of men that are victims of domestic violence is never reported, either,” Mariah added.
Deputy principal Kylie Butler is proud of the reaction from the students standing up against such a confronting issue.
"They are really accepting and encouraged by the program and come away knowing the signs and where help is,” she said.
The donations from the free dress day amounted to $400 and will be donated to the local community health centre, Helem Yumba.