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A Queensland Police detective is urging schools to get involved in domestic violence prevention on the Sunshine Coast.
Sunshine Coast District CIB officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said education was integral to stopping domestic violence.
“We look to our education system and I think it’s lacking,” Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said.
“I don’t believe we’ve got a really suitable or targeted education syllabus in relation to raising awareness around domestic violence and behaviour of males, sexual assault, understanding consent.”
Snr Sgt Edwards said young men were learning violent behaviours towards women as young as four or five years old.
“Their attitudes towards their mother or their female sibling is bad … and then by the time they’re 18 or 19 they’re in relationships with a girl and that same domestic violence style behaviour is occurring,” he said.
“We think that preventative behaviour and getting involved early and taking action early will hopefully prevent that one woman murder.”
In Australia, one woman is murdered each week in a domestic violence setting, with this year’s national toll at 37 by August 28.
“What we’re seeing are juvenile offenders, a lot of single mothers can’t control young men,” Snr Sgt Edwards said.
“It might have been they had an abusive father and … they’ve watched that behaviour and they think it’s the norm.”
Make It Stop Sunshine Coast USC representative Dr Greg Nash said educating young people would hopefully break the generational cycle of domestic violence.
He said young people who have experienced domestic violence themselves are more likely to go into relationships where they either experience or perpetrate it themselves.
“There’s really no way that the police can arrest their way out of this, it’s too widespread,” Dr Nash said.
“It’s not something that’s going to go away unless we keep trying to teach the younger generation that there is a better way around things than violence.
“Hopefully, in a few generations’ time, there’ll be an understanding that domestic violence is not going to be tolerated in our society.”
Make It Stop Sunshine Coast work closely with local sporting clubs like Sunshine Coast Lightning and Sunshine Coast Falcons to educate young people about domestic violence and “stamp out locker room talk”.
“Being able to get into the schools, and talk to entire classes, definitely is what helps…talk to them about healthy relationships,” Dr Nash said.
“[Young men] need to hear men speaking…about men’s behaviour and what’s appropriate and what’s not.”