Press Release – Skylight
Increased violent and aggressive behaviour of young women has been receiving increased attention in the New Zealand media. New Zealand Police statistics show girls’ violent offending has increased.15 November, 2011
Girls Who Are Angry
Increased violent and aggressive behaviour of young women has been receiving increased attention in the New Zealand media. New Zealand Police statistics show girls’ violent offending has increased.
Anny da Silva Freitas, an experienced youth worker and counsellor, has particular interest in supporting young people, and young women, to find healthy ways to express and manage anger, aggression and other difficult emotions.
Looking back on her own life, da Silva Freitas now sees just how much anger she had as a teen. Playing rugby helped her to manage the strong anger she felt inside when she was younger. She represented Scotland in Women’s Rugby from 1993-1996 and played for Canterbury Women’s Rugby from 1996-1997.
“It wasn’t till some years later that I recognised how rugby had helped me and how ‘anger’ had contributed to that. I was fortunate to find an outlet, but at the time I didn’t even know I needed one.”
Having worked with young people in residential care, many of whom experience huge anger, da Silva Freitas has learned some key de-escalation skills to support them as well as learning that it is possible to ‘take up a position’ outside of this ‘anger’. She recognises just how complex and demanding anger can be.
“Knowing and understanding anger, and seeing your own anger, are vital, now more than ever.”
Scottish born, with Portuguese parents and the eldest of four sisters, da Silva Freitas counts herself as one of the ‘informed’ ones.
“It is only now from personal insights and helping to work through and understanding other people’s anger that I could recognise my own anger and also how it might have turned out differently.”
By sharing her story, da Freitas Silva wants to bring attention to the current disturbing trends, help other young women, and highlight programmes and resources that can be used for welcoming and managing anger. She is also putting her support behind the launch of The Anger Toolbox by telling her story.
Produced and developed by Skylight for parents and adults caring for children and teens, The Anger Toolbox provides a wealth of ready-to-use, evidence-based information and strategies. Readers can dip in and out of the book for specialist reference sections including de-escalation, triggers, anger in children and teens with special needs, using the time out tool, as well as some information for grandparents raising grandchildren.
“Parents and families, professionals – whoever it is – need to understand and take a position with this emotion called anger. You need to understand early before ‘anger’ escalates. And if it does, there are ways to de-escalate the anger and to work towards a positive outcome. Are you in control or is anger in control?”
Skylight’s launch of THE ANGER TOOLBOX will be hosted by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (with Commissioner Dr Russell Wills)
Tuesday 15 November
10am – 11am
Level 6, Public Trust building, 117 -125 Lambton Quay, Wellington