Prevent men’s violence against women

Breaking the Silence Schools Program

What is Breaking the Silence?

Breaking the Silence is a free, professional learning program for school 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.

Registrations for the 2019/2020 Program extended to Friday 24 May

There are limited places available for schools to participate in Breaking the Silence in the following regions:


  • Mackay
  • Toowoomba


  • Horsham

South Australia:

  • Adelaide
  • Murray Bridge
  • Port Augusta

New South Wales:

  • Cowpasture/Southern Sydney
  • Mid North Coast
  • North West Sydney

Express your school’s interest in the 2019/2020 Program today.


Express interest

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.


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.

Online portal for Breaking the Silence Participants


Express your school's interest today

Express interest

Contact the White Ribbon Schools Team
02 9045 8430

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