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Violence prevention : getting in early

Media Release

24 November 1998

Media release from Senator, the Hon Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Justice and Customs

Anti-violence projects created for and by children were the stars at this year's National Violence Prevention Awards announced today by Federal Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone.

Australians Against Child Abuse from Victoria were the overall national winners with two outstanding programs, The Children's Sexual Behaviours Program and The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program.

Hampstead Primary School in South Australia also won a national award for its innovative project, And the Band Played On... and On. Each project has been rewarded with $10000.

The Children's Sexual Behaviour Program is a successful treatment and prevention model for children aged 5 to 11 who have displayed sexual behaviours which interfere with their normal development or are considered abusive towards others.

A first for Australia, children are supported to understand and consider the possibility of changing their behaviour to develop more respectful ways of interacting with others. 90% of participants have not repeated their sexual behaviours 12 months later.

The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program was the first school-based program in Australia aimed at reducing the incidence and impact of child sexual abuse by giving children, parents and teachers the information and skills to help prevent sexual abuse.

Since 1995 it has provided education and support to at least 6000 children and young people from junior primary to upper secondary, through information and entertaining teaching strategies, including theatre performance, workshops and guest speakers.

And the Band Played On... And On has helped Hampstead Primary School and its local community improve safety by increasing empathy towards the victims or perpetrators of violence in their community.

The program uses music and the arts as a tool for healing, self-improvement, group development and fun. Since its inception in 1995, school yard and classroom safety has improved by an estimated 60%.

"These awards are important because early intervention plays a key role in preventing crime", Australian Institute of Criminology Director and Awards Chairman, Dr Adam Graycar said.

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