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Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Encouraging respectful relationships among young Indigenous people

The Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis today launched the next phase of the highly successful The Line campaign, which will encourage respectful relationships among young Indigenous people.

The Line – Respect Each Other is part of the Australian Government’s $17 million initiative, The Line, which uses social media and music to engage young people about what is acceptable in relationships and to reduce violence against women.

“This campaign takes a grassroots approach to helping young Indigenous people develop and maintain healthy relationships by emphasising the importance of respect – respecting themselves, respecting others, respecting their community and respecting culture,” Ms Ellis said.

“Disturbingly, we know that one in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15, and almost one in five has experienced sexual violence1. Of those, Indigenous women and girls are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence-related assaults2.

“These figures are simply not acceptable and this new phase of The Line campaign will help encourage young Indigenous people to think about what sort of behaviour is acceptable in a relationship and what crosses the line.”

Education packages, developed in consultation with Indigenous students will be distributed to primary and secondary schools and community groups around the country.

These packages contain a range of resources to actively promote healthy relationships, including comics and a set of four plays promoting respectful behaviour, collectively called Serpent Tales.

An art and poster competition, open to Indigenous youth aged between eight and 14 years, will also be held later this year. Entrants will be asked to produce a poster or artwork promoting a healthy and respectful relationship message.

The Line – Respect Each Other is an initiative under the Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, which is focused on building respectful relationships in the next generation.

For more information about The Line campaign visit: www.theline.gov.au

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006, Personal safety survey (reissue), Cat. No. 4906.0, Canberra
  2. http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/women/pubs/general/factsheet_women_issues/Pages/facts6.aspx – _ednref29#_ednref29 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2006, Family Violence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.