This year, more than 20 schools and 1500 boys in Year 10 will participate in the program and learn about respect, trust, gender equality, healthy relationships and the dangers of abusive behaviour.
The PEVAW initiative is in response to the shocking prevalence of violence against women and teaches young men that domestic violence is a choice.
“We understand that as role models within the community we have an important role to play in encouraging young men to care about the women in their lives, and to treat them respectfully.”
Travis Boak | Captain, PAFC
Launched in late 2015 with the help of the State Government, the program will be funded by Centacare until 2019 in order to reach more male students across the state.
“There is no doubt that men are increasingly resorting to violence and controlling behaviours,’’ says Dale West, Director, Centacare.
“This has caused our community to expect regular reporting of the deaths of women in their family environments. This must not become an acceptable outcome for often preventable tragedies.’’
Under the PEVAW program, Centacare educator Kay Buckley and PAFC ambassadors Travis Boak, Matthew White, Ollie Wines, Russell Ebert and Gavin Wanganeen visit schools to help young men make informed choices to prevent violent behaviours.
PAFC chief executive Keith Thomas says footballers by their actions and messages play an important role in shaping the values and decision-making of young males in society.
“As the leader of Port Adelaide, I want to encourage our players and other young men to open up and have conversations about respectful relationships,” he says.
“Violence against women needs to be seen as a choice and to make informed choices, young men need information, education and leadership.”
Keith Thomas | PAFC Chief Executive
Ross Wait, Manager, PAFC Senior Youth Programs, says through the initiative, past and current players are encouraging “young people to be agents of change in the community”.
“If they experience violence or domestic violence, they will have the necessary tools to confront the issue and the program will empower them to make a change in the community,” he says.
“Year 10 is an appropriate age to be discussing respectful relationships as young men are starting to form relationships in their own lives and realise how important it is to be interacting with those people in a respectful way.”
“In many families, children don’t have the opportunity to be offered another way of thinking about relationships.”
Pauline Connelly |Assistant Director, Centacare
Centacare Assistant Director Pauline Connelly says the program is having a significant impact in classrooms: “It’s early days but if we are seeing changes just in the way students are communicating with the facilitators and engaging, that gives us great hope as to what changes the future has in store for these boys as they grow into men.
“In many families, children don’t have the opportunity to be offered another way of thinking about relationships. Some grow up learning violence is a form of communication and getting what you want.
“If they are in a controlling family, they learn that to control someone else is how you get what you want. Through this program they are learning that having a respectful relationship is a way two people both can get what they want.’’
For more information about the PEVAW program, please phone Ross Wait 8447 9965.
For more about the program, see: