In August 2015, the Queensland Government responded to the final report from the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland—Not Now Not Ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland. The Respect program stems from recommendation 24, which supports the introduction of programs in state schools to embed, through the school life of all secondary and primary state schools, a culture that emphasises:
- developing and maintaining respectful relationships
- respecting self
- gender equality.
In early 2016, the department released the Respectful Relationships Education Program. This primary prevention education program focused on equipping students with the skills to develop respectful and ethical relationships free of violence.
The Queensland Department of Education has now released the new Respect program, which significantly expands on the existing Respectful Relationships Education Program.
The Respect program has been developed by the department as part of the broad multi-departmental Queensland Government approach to ending domestic and family violence.
The Respect program is a Prep to Year 12 primary prevention program focused on influencing behaviour change to prevent undesirable social consequences such as domestic and family violence. This is done through challenging attitudes about violence and gender construction that are known to lead to violence, while also supporting students to develop pro-social behaviours that lead to equitable and respectful relationships. A strengths-based approach underpins the development of respectful relationships knowledge and skills.
Respect includes opportunities for the explicit and age appropriate teaching of the skills and knowledge including personal and social awareness, human rights, gender equality and equity, respectful relationships and interactions, consent education, preventing domestic and family violence, and help seeking and reporting strategies that are needed to develop positive and respectful relationships. The department, in collaboration with the non-government school sector, engaged in extensive consultation to revise and strengthen the Respect program.