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When love hurts

Media Release

18 October 2001

Two ground-breaking projects, When Love Hurts and the Port Augusta Aboriginal Families Project, were the National Winners at the 10th annual Australian Violence Prevention Awards announced today.

The project, Safer Times Round Albury Wodonga for Women, was also awarded the Special Drugs and Alcohol Category Award.

The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, said that the major winners had been presented with cheques for $10,000 each at a special ceremony attended by the President of the Senate, Margaret Reid and AIC Director Adam Graycar at Parliament House in Canberra.

"These awards are designed to recognise outstanding local projects that work in the home and community to reduce and prevent violence from occurring," Senator Ellison said.

"The Commonwealth Government has also invested $21 million over 4 years in a National Crime Prevention Programme that tackles the causes of crime by working with local communities on key areas as such as domestic violence, youth at risk, break and enter and Senior's safety."

More than 30 other projects were awarded a total of $81,000 and 16 received Certificates of Merit. The Commonwealth and State Governments sponsor the Awards annually through the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Director of the AIC, Dr Adam Graycar, said "this year's successful programs proved yet again that it made more sense to prevent violence than to simply deal with the consequences."

When Love Hurts is the largest and most comprehensive resource on domestic violence produced for young people anywhere in the world. It includes a website (http://www.dvirc.org.au/whenlove/) and 24 page booklet Relationships.

Developed by the Domestic Violence & Incest Resource Centre in Victoria, the project aims to prevent violence by raising young people's awareness of the warning signs of abuse in a relationship and assisting young people who are in a violent relationship to protect themselves or leave a violent partner.

"The project was developed in response to research that suggested young people were more likely to be subjected to violence than older people, yet they were also the least likely to contact services," Project Manager, Mandy McKenzie said.

"Most of the young people we consulted said that if they were seeking information about violence, they would be unlikely to talk to a counsellor, but would prefer to access a website or printed material", Ms McKenzie said.

The site is consistently one of the most popular websites listed on Vicnet, Victoria's biggest Internet Service Provider. It receives over 2000 visits per week.

The Port Augusta Aboriginal Families Project is an innovative violence prevention project which commenced in 1998 as a six month pilot and is now in its third year.

Initiated by the Department of Human Services in South Australia, the project works with Aboriginal families who have multiple problems.

"The project applies the principles of empowerment, participation and partnership. The results have been successful far beyond what we imagined", said the Project's Coordinator, Monica Snowden.

  • Children are attending school more regularly (one child after two years of non attendance).
  • Children are in better health - a family of four children who were absent from school nearly every day due to illness are now only occasionally absent.
  • Parents and children with community service orders are now completing them.
  • Parents have paid back debts of more than $20,000 for electricity, housing and other services.
  • Parents are now receiving full entitlements from income security.
  • Significant decrease in child protection notifications and severity.
  • Noticeable reductions in gambling, drug and alcohol misuse and domestic violence.
  • Noticeable increase in the stability of accommodation.

Safer Times Round Albury Wodonga for Women (STRAWS) is a unique project aimed at enhancing safety for women at hotels, clubs, nightclubs and other licensed venues in the Albury Wodonga region.

The STRAWS team inspects participating venues to assess factors such as access, lighting, security, staff management and attitude. It then ranks them and provides feedback on good aspects and what could be done to improve safety.

STRAWS is a partnership project between NSW Police Service, Victorian Police Service, Albury City Council, Wodonga City Council, NSW Strategy to Reduce Violence Against Women, Albury Wodonga Women's Centre and the Albury Wodonga Women's Refuge.

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