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Tool to help children speak up about violence launched

Tool to help children speak up about violence launched

Jade Speaks Up, a new multimedia resource to help keep children safe from violence was launched at Parliament on Monday with over 150 government and community leaders present to give their support.

The resource aims to help children put safety strategies in place to support themselves, should they feel afraid in their lives whether from bullying, natural disasters, adult threats or witnessing grown-ups fighting.

It includes an eight minute animated film situated in a classroom that teaches children how they can keep themselves and others safe from violence. It is accompanied by three supporting guides for those using the resource in therapeutic, health, school and other education settings. Children will see the film in the company of a trusted adult, for example a teacher, therapist or social worker, in group or individual settings. It is also a potent tool for parent education, because it clearly illustrates family violence as seen trough the eyes of a child.

Project coordinator Elaine Dyer, CEO Violence Free Waitakere says the resource will help children in frightening circumstances to understand what they can do to be safe.

“This is a kiwi resource which picks up on the nuances of today’s diverse communities and focuses on children aged 7-12 years. And the music too, is a fantastic way of communicating the core messages,” Ms Dyer says.

“The teacher’s resource package includes peer reviewed lesson plans which fit within the health curriculum for primary and intermediate schools.

“We know that New Zealand has an appalling domestic violence record so a tool that helps explore the complex issue of violence within the home is a powerful means of reaching vulnerable children.

“Currently New Zealand’s Police go to around 240 domestic violence incidents every day and attend close to 90,000 call outs of this nature per year. At over half these incidents, children are present. Few get professional help to deal with the trauma. We know that there is an urgent need for practical, effective solutions to this issue – as highlighted most recently by the Glenn Inquiry. And Jade Speaks Up is exactly that.

“The resource is the result of four years of collaborative and rigorous work. We are honoured to have it launched by the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett.

“We look forward to wide-spread use of this resource to help all New Zealand’s children stay safe,” Ms Dyer concluded.


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