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YFS’s R4Respect program today received a gold award in the community-led category of the 2019 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The ACVPA recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia and play a vital role in highlighting effective community-based initiatives to prevent crime and violence, before it actually occurs.

YFS CEO Cath Bartolo, said the program is a unique youth-led violence prevention program in which young people challenge violence-supportive attitudes and promote respectful relationships among their peers. The aim is to prevent antisocial behaviour and violence, including violence in personal or intimate relationships.

“The diversity of our program members has allowed us to reach more than 300,000 young people online and more than 5,000 face to face, spreading positive messages about respect and what crosses the line into harm,” said Ms Bartolo.

“Winning this prestigious national award greatly reinforces the R4Respect team’s drive and passion to continue educating young people to enact positive social change and sustain healthy, respectful relationships.”

The annual ACVPA recognise the outstanding contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.

“This is a respectful relationships program for young people, with the innovative and positive feature of being led by young people, thereby incorporating peer-to-peer approaches,” said Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Michael Phelan APM.

“Programs like this are important and align well with current efforts to reduce family and domestic violence.”

All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and chaired by the AIC Director.

The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management.

For more information about the award winners, visit www.aic.gov.au/acvpa.