Press Release – Women’s Refuge
It is a 17 year old man who is the spokesperson for Women’s Refuge at the popular Parachute music festival in Hamilton this year. Johny O’Donnell is outspoken about the role young people have in stopping violence.24th January, 2012
The future of good relationships in the hands of the young, says Women’s Refuge
It is a 17 year old man who is the spokesperson for Women’s Refuge at the popular Parachute music festival in Hamilton this year.
Johny O’Donnell is outspoken about the role young people have in stopping violence. When he was 15 he was one of three Nelson college students who began a movement called SAVE, students against violence everywhere. He will be speaking on Ending Relationship Violence to young people at the popular Parachute Music festival.
“Women’s Refuge is using our time this year, to capture stories from young people in our Hurt, Heal and Hope campaign,” says refuge Chief Executive Heather Henare. “Having a young person to champion these messages is important. It is these stories that show current victims that others have experienced abuse and have healed from it. It also shows them that they are not alone and there is hope.”
One of the first stories received by Women’s Refuge was Catt’s story about family dysfunction and sexual violence. “Nearly 1/3 of women who use our services are aged 17 to 25 years old,” says Ms Henare. “Maybe that is a good thing, in that they are seeking help early. It also means their children are younger, 70% of children who used our services last year were aged under nine.
Heather and Johny O’Donnell both hope to take on the challenge of stopping relationship violence and hope the campaign provides yet one more way young women and men can speak out about not only their victimization, but if they were offenders, how they managed to stop their behaviour and become safe adults.