Students learn to spot abuse

By Zaryd Wilson

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SAFE RELATIONSHIPS: Wanganui High School students Mika Gordon and Mandy Miller, and Constable Paul Miller, were part of the Loves-Me-Not programme the school's senior students participated in at the YMCA yesterday. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO
SAFE RELATIONSHIPS: Wanganui High School students Mika Gordon and Mandy Miller, and Constable Paul Miller, were part of the Loves-Me-Not programme the school's senior students participated in at the YMCA yesterday. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO

More students can now recognise safe and healthy relationships, with Wanganui High School participating in the Loves-Me-Not programme this week.

More than 500 senior students joined in the programme on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the school hiring the YMCA to accommodate everyone.

Aimed at Year 12 students, the day-long programme is run by a teacher, a police officer and a representative of a family violence prevention organisation.

The programme, set up by the Sophie Elliot Foundation, teaches teenagers about what makes a healthy relationship in order to help them identify signs of a abusive or controlling one.

Wanganui High School deputy principal Nola Todd said the school was keen to offer the programme after being approached by police, and also wanted to offer it to its Year 13 students.

"It teaches students about healthy relationships," she said.

"At this age they are embarking on relationships and partnerships with people and we want them to be safe - emotionally safe and physically safe."

Ms Todd said the students had taken to the course well and had enjoyed the day.

Student Mika Gordon said the content of the programme was relevant to the stage of life she and her friends were in.

"It's a really good programme and I'd definitely recommend it to the world," she said.

Constable Paul Miller, one of two school community officers in the city, said about 700 Whanganui students had now been through the programme with Whanganui Girls' College taking part earlier this year.

"We hope to carry it on this year with the other schools."

The students get to take home the Loves Me Not book at the end of the programme, paid for by the country's Zonta clubs.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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