Sexual Health Victoria is delighted to announce a new program Consent Matters: Professional Mentoring Program for Youth and Community Workers. SHV is pleased to announce they are partnering with Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) on this important work.
This program is one of several initiatives funded by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to operationalise the Victorian Government’s new legislation to prevent sexual violence and enhance young people’s knowledge of consent.
In the Consent Matters program, youth and community service professionals will be trained to provide primary prevention information, support and resources to young people. This will enable them to understand and engage in respectful, equitable, and consensual sex and relationships.
The project will involve co-design, trial and evaluation of a comprehensive education, training and mentorship program with youth and community workers in metropolitan and rural Victoria. This will be supported by Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, the Multicultural Health Support Service and Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, municipal youth services in the City of Greater Dandenong and Cardinia Shire, the Zoe Belle Gender Collective and the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria.
The project will also provide professionals with the skills to respond to disclosures and refer victim-survivors to appropriate support services. Through the delivery of Consent Matters, Sexual Health Victoria and WHISE will improve outcomes for marginalised and at-risk young people who may not have access to the Respectful Relationships program through mainstream schooling.
We are pleased to continue to build our existing partnership to prevent violence and improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes. WHISE’s CEO Kit McMahon says this grant “provides an exciting opportunity to further our collaborative efforts with Sexual Health Victoria, which this year has included the delivery of sexual and reproductive health capacity-building to approximately one hundred youth and community service professionals in the Southern Metropolitan Region. Sexual Health Victoria are renowned leaders in service provision, community education and professional development, and we are so pleased to be working together on this project.”
SHV’s Schools and Community Manager Sam Read says, “This grant provides critical opportunities to provide affirmative consent education to the youth and community sector supporting young people and to build on our important work with WHISE and grant contributors.”
Tricia Currie, CEO of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee (WHLM), expressed delight in the announcement of the project. “This enables WHLM to contribute a rural experience and perspective to the collaborative approach design, development and implementation of the program. Starting conversations, creating resources and strengthening partnerships to support young people through a program enabling enhanced understanding of consent and preventing sexual violence.”