Moorefield girls find a little respect goes a long way

Moorefield Girls High students run through the Bay City Care Take Two: Respectful Relationships domestic violence early intervention and prevention program. Mia Villatora and Ngari Turuwhenua  with students. Picture: Jane Dyson
Moorefield Girls High students run through the Bay City Care Take Two: Respectful Relationships domestic violence early intervention and prevention program. Mia Villatora and Ngari Turuwhenua with students. Picture: Jane Dyson

WHAT'S OK and not OK in relationships?

That was the question posed to students at Moorefield Girls High School on Tuesday as part of the Take Two: Respectful Relationships program.

Run locally by Bay City Care, the program encourages young people to think about what a healthy relationship looks like and the tools needed for a respectful one.

Bay City Care co-ordinator Mona Luxton said the program was a hit with local schools with six sessions run this year and another six planned next year.

"The program is all about what it looks like to show respect in a relationship," she said.

"It's very much focused at helping the students make up their own mind.

"It gets them thinking; if that was you or if that was your friend what would you do?

"What they find surprising is the kinds of abuse.

"For example, a guy ringing his girlfriend a hundred times and wanting to know where she is all the time.

"That's been controversial because some students think that's because he loves her.

"While the program mainly looks at intimate relationships, we do cover bullying and respecting authority.

"We're finding that 80 per cent of our feedback is positive and the students are finding it really helpful.

"We're even hearing back from schools that afterwards the students are more respectful to each other."

Moorefield Girls High School relieving principal Rose Daniels said students really engaged with the program.

"The most important thing that our students have taken out of the program is how to conduct yourself in a respectful way," she said.

"And I think that is really empowering — which is one of our main values at the school."

What do you think makes a respectful relationship? 

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