The Line campaign to help reduce bullying, objectionable online behavior, Texting and SEXting

Minister Kate Ellis with AFL Commissioner Sam Moyston

The Line campaign is run by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). It’s aimed at helping teenagers and young adults through a difficult time in their lives. The things they experience in relationships now can affect them long into adulthood, so it’s very important to help in every way we can and ensure they understand the importance of respectful relationships.

The campaign was a recommendation from Time for Action: the National Council’s Plan to reduce violence against Women and Children, released in April 2009.

The campaign aims to increase the knowledge of young people about the components of a respectful relationship including communication, trust and consideration for others in developing and maintaining healthy relationships; the components and forms of intimate partner violence (including cyber bullying and harassment) and sexual assault; and the effects of violence on relationships. It also aims to increase the incidence of positive behaviours in relationships, including open communication across genders; listening to and valuing others’ opinions; and trust, consideration, courtesy and respect.

The primary target audience is young people on the cusp or in developing relationships generally aged between 12-20 years. The secondary audience comprises key influencers such as parents and teachers.

The campaign explains what exactly is The Line? And what happens when you cross it? The website: visit is all about the line and the kind of behaviour that crosses it.

Sometimes there’s no argument about where to draw the line. There are some things you should just never do. In Australia, we’re united as a community about things that are unacceptable. Like violence, rape and abuse. These are things that should never happen, which is why we have laws against them.

On the up side, we’re also pretty united about what it takes to create happy and healthy relationships. There are some things that always work, like loving and respecting each other, being considerate, listening, and trying to understand the other person’s point of view.

So while everyone agrees that violence is crossing the line, sometimes the line can be blurry. Things like with bagging someone out to your mates, or texting someone 300 times a day. At the end of the day, where you draw the line is up to you. Explore the site and find a whole heap of stuff that will help you decide.

Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis joined hip hop artist Matuse at the Sydney Cricket Ground to launch the CD as part of the Gillard Government’s The Line campaign. An Indian hip hop artist L-Fresh the Lion Sukhdeep Sing Bhogal is also featured on the CD.

Addressing the AFL Multicultural Talent Camp, Ms Ellis spoke to more than 40 young boys from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds about what respect means to them.

“The Line is all about getting young people to think about what is acceptable in a relationship, and what crosses the line,” Ms Ellis said.

“It’s about having respect ”“ respect for others, but also having respect for yourself.”

Ms Ellis joined hip hop artist Matuse at the Sydney Cricket Ground to launch the CD as part of the Gillard Government’s The Line campaign. The free hip hop CD called Liner Notes features Musical artists Pez, Matuse and that uses the power of music to send a message about respectful relationships.

With more than 52,000 Facebook friends, The Line has already started a wide-reaching discussion among young people about what makes a respectful relationship.

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