Love Bites is a national program, developed by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), which aims to teach high school students aged 15-17 about respectful relationships to inform and recognise the signs of sexual assault and domestic violence. Love Bites was delivered to 20 high schools last year in the Canterbury Bankstown Local Government area.
Over the past five years Bankstown Sports has provided Mission Australia with $29,650 grant to ensure the ongoing facilitation of the program.
The Love Bites program is delivered as a full day event and is structured to consist of two interactive education workshops on Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault followed by creative workshops that consolidate the learning experience. Love Bites aims to provide young people with a safe environment to examine, discuss and explore respectful relationships.
Love Bites education is focused on three critical areas for learning:
One element of the program that has been thoroughly enjoyed by students is the rap workshop which is facilitated by a professional rap artist. Students have the opportunity to write the lyrics for a rap song using the information they have learnt during the program. In June, year 10 students at Chester Hill High School wrote and recorded a rap about relationships, domestic violence, inequality and consent. The rap was then showcased around the school during White Ribbon Week. You can listen to the rap here: https://soundcloud.com/school-of-rap/love-bites-chester-hill-2018
Mission Australia Adolescent and Family Caseworker, Kassie Paice says that students often have a range of reactions to the program.
“The program has always had different reactions from the students. One thing they react positively to is the video of Angela Barker. This true story portrays a young woman who experienced domestic violence from her boyfriend. Students are shocked that the abuser was sentenced to only 7 years in jail, whilst Angela will have to live with the damage he caused her for the rest of her life.”
Kassie says Bankstown Sports support has enabled Love Bites to be delivered to a wider range of participants.
“As a result of Bankstown Sports support in 2017, we were able to train 16 new workers to deliver the program. This training allows the Love Bites program to be delivered outside of schools to independent youth programs. Additionally, it provides the opportunity to educate young people about sexual assault and domestic violence, so they can make safe choices and set appropriate boundaries for their safety.”