The window of the former Peter Browne Gallery is currently housing a pop up art exhibition with a message.
Barnardos family and youth workers, Fleur Stubbs and Viv Cleaver, have been facilitating a school based domestic and family violence and sexual assault prevention program called 'Love Bites' at the Warren Central Secondary School.
The 'Love Bites' respectful relationships program, an initiative of NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect), is aimed at 14 to 16 year olds and currently forms part of the NSW secondary schools curriculum.
The program consists of two interactive workshops followed by a creative session, where students are able to consolidate learning from the two previous workshops.
The creative workshop component enables the teens to produce anything from songs and dvertisements, through to plays, paintings, drawings and posters. These can then be used as a community resource to support the prevention of violence against women.
The window display in Dubbo Street showcases the artwork of the Warren Central School students who recently took part in the program. The artworks on show range from those that are simply evocative of the theme, through to slogans with direct anti-violence messages. These effectively form what can only be described as a campaign to challenge violence against women in our local community, all the more powerful in that it has been developed, created and led by our own young people.
Unfortunately, the Warren area has a relatively high number of family and domestic violence incidents taking place.
"Domestic and family violence occur when someone who has a close personal relationship with another person makes them feel afraid, powerless or unsafe," said a spokesperson from Lifeline Australia.
"It can be physical or sexual, but can also be emotional and psychological.
"Anyone can experience domestic and family violence, as it happens across communities, ages, cultures and sexes. Although women and children are most often the victims, men can be victims too and should not hesitate to seek assistance themselves.
"We tell callers that if they are experiencing abuse or violence it is not their fault. It is the abuser who is responsible. Domestic violence is a crime and the abuser is breaking the law".
If you feel that you, or someone that you know, is a victim of Family and Domestic Violence, there is help available from a number of agencies. If you believe your life or the life of other family members is in immediate danger, call 000 straight away.
(This article was first published in the Warren Weekly.)