Awatapu College students take part in ‘Loves Me Not’

Friday, 31 March 2017 - 8:35am
Awatapu College were part of the first group of students in Palmerston North to be involved in Loves Me Not, a nationwide programme aimed at educating young New Zealanders on family harm.

The programme was opened at the college by Manawatu Area Commander, Inspector Sarah Stewart, on 28 March 2017.

The initiative that was set up by the Sophie Elliot Foundation, formed to raise awareness of family harm.

“I commend Awatapu College and our community for taking a proactive approach to educating our young people on healthy and safe relationships,” Inspector Stewart says.

“I believe this programme will have a significant impact on the future safety of our students and our community.”

The programme uses interactive videos, group discussions and exercises to help students understand the signs of what makes a relationship healthy or unhealthy.

It covers six core topics, including healthy relationships, consent, sexual consent, barriers to healthy relationships, stepping up and interventions.

New Zealand Police are one of several organisations working with the foundation to support and facilitate the program, which also includes the Highbury Whanau Centre, Te Manawa Social Services, Manline, Child Youth and Family, and staff from Awatapu College.

“We fully support students being involved in learning about these topics early in the belief that the programme will help to reduce the incidence of family harm in their future,” says Senior Constable Emily McMellon, a Youth Aid Officer who helped organise the program to be hosted at the college.

Awatapu College Principal Gary Yeatman says he’s grateful to the community and Police for their assistance in addressing the issue of family harm.

“It is important that we as schools be proactive in our approach to increasing education around these issues to help keep our young people safe,” he says.

Awapatu students gave the course great feedback, with many saying they found the course extremely worthwhile, as it taught them how to recognise the signs of a harmful relationship, as well how they can step in to help others.

Organisers and Police are hopeful that the programme will soon be offered at more schools in the Palmerston North area.

Issued by Police Media Centre

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