My time at St. Cecilia's School

The new Education Intern Leah gives an insight on her first observation of a healthy relationship workshop

Before I dive into my time at the 2-day workshop at St. Cecilia’s School, here’s a little bit about myself.

My name Leah and I am the new Education Intern and that means supporting the Education team with the administration, logistics and the evaluation of Healthy Relationships and Violence Prevention work within school settings.

I had a fair idea of what the process would look like as since starting at Tender (just one week ago) I have had the opportunity to create resource packs for various schools as well as inputting the evaluation questionnaires written by the students.

It was delightful to see the workshop in action; the two facilitators were very supportive and created a healthy atmosphere. The level of student’s knowledge about Healthy Relationships, Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse varied from student to student. However, this did not stop them from gaining valuable knowledge, even I learned a substantial amount of new information from the workshop.

A key moment I want to highlight is how the two facilitators break down the definition of what a word or phrase means. Sometimes we hear a word, or a phrase being thrown about and think we know what it means but, when we break it down in its simplistic term, our perception of the word or phrase changes. For example, the phrase “Wearing the pants”, we have all heard it in a light-hearted conversation when referring to someone in a relationship. We know what it means on the surface but if we look deeper into the context of the phrase, it is not something that should be taken lightly. “Wearing the pants” is another reference for control over the other person in the relationship. This is also formally known as Psychological Abuse. If we had not broken the phrase in its simplistic term, we would have not understood the many types of abuse that can happen in a relationship.

Another highlight for me was a chair simple game, the instructions is there is a empty chair at the other side of the room and one person needs to reach the chair but their opponents (the rest of the class) tactically need to stop the individual from sitting down in the empty chair, by moving around the space to confuse the individual reaching a seat. The students absolutely loved this game and really immersed themselves in it. When the individual sat on the chair as a result of the rest of the class failing to be tactical, there were some remarks made, such as ‘’You’re so silly, why did you move for?’’. When the facilitator heard these remarks, they explained that the emotions attached to such remarks can be detrimental to a person’s vulnerability, the comment can bring shame, guilt or blame. Once the student understood the remark, they worked on their new strategy promoting trust, teamwork and communication. A simple game changed into a beneficial tool in creating awareness of Healthy Relationships.

This two day workshop has opened my eyes to new insights on Healthy Relationships and I look forward to observing many more projects.

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