Young Women’s Program

The Shark Cage® Program for Young Women: A human rights approach to gender violence and health relationships.

The Shark Cage® Program for Young Women

Young Women’s Program

This seven week program was developed by Ursula in collaboration with Angelle Hughes, a teacher passionate about making education about gender equality and respectful relationships a core feature of all school curriculums. The program was developed as professionals using the Shark Cage framework with adult women saw how useful it could be for prevention by strengthening young women’s understanding of their rights in relationships. A call for a youth specific program was met and resulted in this highly effective program that was piloted and reviewed in two schools in 2018.

The program is manualised and can be used in individual or group settings once professionals have completed the accreditation process. Despite the complexity of the issues explored in the program it demonstrated a capacity to engage a diverse range of often difficult to engage young women with its creative and interactive activities. The eleven key program objectives are in line with Australian State & Territory directives to incorporate learning relating to Healthy Relationships into school curriculums. The program material is suitable for participants 12-16 years of age. It can be delivered in group, school or community settings or with individual young people.

The five steps in the framework are combined with key gender equity and respectful relationships education to address the following 11 program objectives:

Increase knowledge of healthy and unhealthy relationships

Increase capacity to set boundaries

Increase skills in respectful, assertive communication

Increase understanding of consent

Decrease victim-blaming attitudes

Increase the ability to care for and be kind to themselves

Increase awareness of “gut feeling” about people and situations

Increase sense of self-worth

Increase belief in entitlement to rights

Increase ability to recognise a potentially abusive or exploitative person

Increase awareness of and respect for the rights of others

The Shark Cage Program for Young Women: A Human Rights Approach to Gender Violence & Healthy Relationships consists of a hard copy manual and digital resources. More information can be found in the Program Summary. Ursula is committed to ensuring that all young people who are courageous enough to disclose abuse, assault or harassment receive a compassionate and informed response that prioritises their ongoing wellbeing.

For this reason, there is an accreditation process to become a facilitator of this program that ensures that all facilitators have critical base knowledge regarding gender violence and equity and skills in responding to disclosures.

Hear from Young Women who have completed this program

Hear from Professionals who have facilitated this program