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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

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ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

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To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


RESEARCH SUMMARY

R4Respect: Lessons from a peer-to-peer respectful relationships education program: Key findings and future directions

This is an edited summary of key findings from ANROWS research Young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women.

The Young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women project, led by Dr Karen Struthers from Griffith University, evaluates the impact of the R4Respect peer-led respectful relationships program run by YFS Ltd, Logan (YFS) in south-east Queensland. YFS is a not-for-profit community services agency that delivers employment, housing, financial counselling and other services. The R4Respect program is centred on youth-led peer-to-peer RRE sessions and also incorporates a social media strategy and community events.

In brief:

  • Research into peer-to-peer models for respectful relationships education shows promising results.
  • The R4Respect program had a positive impact on young people’s understanding of the nature and extent of interpersonal violence.
  •  R4Respect showed potential to positively influence young people’s behaviour, including how they managed conflict.
  • Young men’s attitudes towards gender equality remain difficult to shift.

Key recommendations:

  • Consider peer-to-peer initiatives as a part of the respectful relationships mix — and help to build the evidence base.
  • Embed respectful relationships programs as a part of a whole-school approach.
  • Engage young people in program planning and development.
  • Apply a gendered lens and use a range of existing tools and frameworks.
  • Ensure that programs are inclusive of diversity.
  • Manage the wellbeing of participants.

 

Publication details

ANROWS Research to policy and practice papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.

 

 

Suggested citation

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2019). R4Respect: Lessons from a peer-to-peer respectful relationships education program: Key findings and future directions (Research to policy and practice, 02/2019). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS.

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