Prevent men’s violence against women

Breaking the Silence Schools Program

What is the Breaking the Silence Schools Program?

Breaking the Silence is a free, professional learning schools program for principals and teachers, creating White Ribbon Schools across Australia. The program provides foundational knowledge, tools and strategies to implement respectful relationships and domestic violence education in schools.

Building on existing initiatives

Breaking the Silence supports schools to bring about a commitment to stop violence against women. It builds on existing initiatives to strengthen a culture of respect and equality at all levels of the school community – through curriculum, role modelling from staff, policies and procedures, domestic violence education programs and strengthened family and community partnerships.

There are limited places available for schools to participate in Breaking the Silence. This 2019/2020 we will be going out the following schools:

  • Mackay, QLD
  • Toowoomba, QLD
  • Horsham, VIC
  • Adelaide, SA
  • Murray Bridge, SA
  • Port Augusta, SA
  • Cowpasture/Southern Sydney, NSW
  • Mid North Coast, NSW
  • North West Sydney, NSW

Applications for the next round have closed. However, if you wish to express your interest for the next round, please fill in the form below.


Express Interest for your school to join the program

Why are schools important to stop violence against women?

Young people form behaviours, social skills and relationships during their time at school. During these formative years, ideas about men, women and their relationships are being learned. Exposure to harmful messaging and gender stereotyping can lead to attitudes that support inequality and disrespect towards women.

Breaking the cycle of violence

Schools play a pivotal role in breaking the cycle of violence by teaching young people how to recognise and challenge violence against women and build respectful relationships. Breaking the Silence engages the wider school community to promote and role model gender equality and create a safe, inclusive school culture to stop violence against women.


How does it work?

Participants complete 10 hours of professional learning across two calendar years. Schools will run White Ribbon activities as part of existing initiatives, tailored to their local context and needs. To learn more about the program structure, please view the program flyer.


Once enrolled in Breaking the Silence, up to 4 school participants (Principal/Executive and Teacher) complete a 1 hour eLearning.

Getting started:

  • Explore the issue of violence against women and violence prevention.
  • Respectful relationships education in schools.


School participants attend Workshop 1 in Term 3 of their first year of the program. A 4.5 hours face-to-face session with other schools.

Creating a White Ribbon School:

  • Recap the issue.
  • Explore best practice principles and practical tools.
  • Plan for your school community.

In Term 4, schools have the opportunity to host activities for White Ribbon Day with their school community.

White Ribbon Schools

School participants attend Workshop 2 in Term 4 of their second year of the program. A 4.5 hours face-to-face session with other schools.

Embedding Breaking the Silence:

  • Reflect on and share learnings.
  • Explore future directions and support.
  • Plan for the future.

Schools are given certificates and the title of a White Ribbon School.

Breaking the Silence Evaluation 2019

The University of Technology Sydney conducted an evaluation of White Ribbon’s Breaking the Silence program.


Management Response to 2019 Evaluation

Read White Ribbon Australia’s management response to UTS’ 2019 Evaluation of Breaking the Silence.


Breaking the Silence Evaluation 2014

In 2014, University of New South Wales conducted an evaluation of White Ribbon’s Breaking the Silence program.


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Contact the White Ribbon Schools team:
02 9045 8430

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