Love Bites is a NAPCAN evidence based, respectful relationships program that educates young people, aged 15 -16 years, in schools and other settings about healthy relationships. The program helps shift attitudes, norms and behaviours that enable, excuse or minimise the extent and impact of violence towards women and children.
Anna Tonkin, is the Love BiTES team leader and is also a Child, Family and Adolescent Clinical Nurse Consultant for Lismore Child and Family Health.
“LOVE BiTES is for all young people and aims to support them in how to recognise the early signs of an abusive relationship, what can be done, how to avoid risky situations, legal facts, how to look out and support friends and where they can get professional support if needed. The program in the Northern Rivers funded by NRCF covered Casino, Kyogle, and Bonalbo High Schools.”
All facilitators are trained in the LOVE BiTES program and a huge plus is the range and depth of knowledge facilitators representing services such as NSW Department of Education, Northern NSW Local Health District, Lismore Women Up North Housing Inc., Casino Youth services and a range of other affiliated services. An incredible range of health professionals come together to make this Program work: school counsellors, youth workers, sexual assault counsellors, Aboriginal health workers, domestic violence and women’s refuge counsellors, women’s health workers, teachers, neighbourhood workers and a school health nurse.
The program consists of two 1.5-hour workshops, “Violence and Relationships” and “Sex and Consent.” The third session consists of Art or Music/ Rap in which students relax and consolidate their learnings in a creative format. We were very lucky here to have professional musicians who have helped students to produce some amazing sounding RAPs.
Get a taste of one of those RAPs from Kyogle High:
NRCF has supported this program over a number of years. NRCF funding provides the necessary resources for the creative processes including art and Music /RAP. Without these funds, the program would lack this vital aspect of consolidation and opportunistic expression and learning.
Comments from beneficiaries:
Because the program is delivered in schools, we mainly hear what teachers and the young people say. Feedback is always very positive. Teachers often state that the program is unique and fantastic and the young people document things such as;
“You are talking in a real way that teenagers can listen to and we want to know about this stuff.”
“The people were trustworthy and you could talk openly.”
“Emotional. Important to talk about it”
‘I’m amazed at the statistics”