In Australia, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them. On average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner. Meanwhile, one in four children are exposed to domestic violence.
Combating these statistics is the KYUP (pronounced Key-Up) program that has been set up by Mel Thomas. A victim of domestic violence as both a child and adult as well as a ‘victim and perpetrator’ of teen bullying Mel started KYUP in 2013 with a grant from the Layne Beachley Aim for the Stares Foundation.
‘How hard a girl fights for her own safety is often in direct measure to how much she believes she’s worth fighting for – so I’m all about them owning how amazing and special they are first and foremost, before helping them find their voice, trust their instincts, and fight their way out of difficult situations if needed,’ says Mel Thomas.
Aimed at students in years 8, 9 and 10 the workshops target all-girls or all-boys groups through 2.5-hour workshop.
‘My workshops encourage independent thinking in a fun positive environment that fosters learning. Students come away from my workshops with increased feelings of self-esteem and the knowledge of what to do when a situation doesn’t feel right,’ continued Mel.
The KYUP project is now looking to run ten free half day workshops in ten NSW state secondary schools during term four.
KYUP are asking schools to enter the competition for the free workshops with a single A4 page or maximum 3 minute video entry to our website here explaining why your school will benefit the most from empowering teen girls with self-worth and self-protection skills. Entries close 18 September.