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Community of Practice address Young Women and Family Violence using Hip Hop as a medium

Produced by Kirstyn Lindsay Standing Strong Together, 3KND

The topic of Young Women: Body, Self and Intimate Partner Violence challenges key themes on adolescence and image development, self/objectification and survival sex for young women.

Northern Integrated Family Violence Services NIFVS and Youth Support and Advocacy Service YSAS hosted the Community of Practice Young Women and Family Violence training for Family Violence practitioners in the region. The network for family violence and youth workers wanted to address intimate partner violence in relationships with young men.

Ada Conroy from NIFVS says "There’s all of these ways in which objectification as a tool of male dominated society will force women particularly young women into situations that are really unsafe and that perpetrators of family violence really harness that, in order to get and maintain control."

The training was presented by YSAS Senior Trainer and Practice Consultant Bianca Johnston, YSAS Youth and Family Support Worker, event organiser Candice Butler and Senior Workforce Development Officer for Northern Integrated Family Violence Service Ada Conroy.

The Community of Practice has developed interactive training sessions to include arts therapy, the safe use of technology and the criminalisation of girls.

This session was presented through the model of Hip Hop Pedagogy of Learning using Hip Hop as a platform to educate.

Candice Butler presented the Hip Hop workshop and explains that 'The Critical Hip Hop Pedagogy of Learning' explores Hip Hop’s use as both a platform for education and for social justice.

Hip Hop culture has been described as a pedagogy of it’s own, including as a critical pedagogy of the street, and has been adopted into different forms of youth and cultural work. Candice also showed music clips of women breaking the mould and speaking out against violence and diversity.

Ada Conroy says models of training like this change the way people learn and heal.

"Spaces like this bring the workers together to think about the work differently and creatively and is really powerful. They can take that learning and apply it in their practice,' she says 'get young people and anyone impacted by family violence to be creative to make and build things or to write songs, get involved in other ways to express themselves because the talking gets old, the traditional therapies don’t work for everybody."

Using this model the group produced a Hip Hop track from their personal experiences of objectification and pressures from societal issues that include body image, the male gaze, marginalision, racism and intersectionality.

The group broke up into smaller groups and shared experiences that were woven into a track delivered to the group at the end of the session.

The outcome of the session showed workers in the sector different ways to work with young people when addressing issues of objectification and family violence.

Young Women and Intimate Partner Violence

Community of Practice 26/11/2019

I'm facing all these pressures

Tryna meet all your measures

Lookin in the mirror the identity killer

Yah im Lookiin in the mirror, see in my reflection

Tryna find self love, all I see is imperfection

Never had this strength never knew imperfection

I am not here for someone else's erection

I' m not cookie cutter I am not beginner

All I know is i'm already a winner

My shape is explosive

I’m not here to make you sour

But I am here to tell you that I’ve got the power

I'm walkin in my shorts on hot summers day

Thought I had choice but i'm treated like prey

See em on the street, tryna avoid the gaze

Now they talkin bout me like I’m in the way

Best believe I’m feelin rage like i'm locked in a cage

But your first love, its gotta be yourself

Put that body shame back up on the shelf

Out here lookin after my emotional health

And my spirit - cos that’s emotional wealth

My body is mine, not yours for the taking

I’ll decide when I do that damn shaking

Love for this body is finally awakening

I can say yes or no as I please when you’re asking

This body is more than you see

I can run, I can dance and I can please me

I have a voice and I choose how I use it

Killin patriarch on the daily, let’s diffuse it

Backing Tracks: Syryus

Vocals and Performance: Candice Butler, YSAS

Lyrics: Young Women and Family Violence Community of Practice

Lyric writing support: Nataya and Ebony

Studio Recording: Munro Melano, Darebin Youth Services

Filming: Colette Leber


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