Before It Starts is a free, four-week youth group program that focuses on building healthy relationships and preventing domestic abuse.
This primary prevention program has been developed by Anglicare and Youthworks, with the goal of promoting safe and respectful relationships in our churches.

Before It Starts provides an opportunity to reflect on beliefs, attitudes and behaviours from a biblical perspective. It explains different forms of abuse, provides guidance on how to recognise and respond to unhealthy relationships, suggests avenues for getting help and provides key information for leaders on how to respond to disclosures of abuse.

We get it, it’s a tricky topic! But it’s important that we’re aware of it so that we can stop domestic abuse before it starts.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Topics covered

Session 1: Identity and worth in Christ

the implications of being made in the image of God, our identity as children of God and understanding gender stereotypes

Session 2: Freedom to love

recognising love and what constitutes a healthy, loving relationship

Session 3: Power and vulnerability

recognising different forms of power and abuse and the importance of consent and choice

Session 4: Friendships and more

keys to safe and respectful relationships and skills for setting healthy boundaries and using assertive communication to maintain them

What's included?

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KNOW Domestic Abuse course

We encourage at least one person from your youth group to do the KNOW Domestic Abuse course before you run Before It Starts. The course provides key background information and helps prepare participants to respond to disclosures of abuse.

Primary prevention

When we think about domestic abuse, much attention is focused on intervention. Intervention helps provide safety, healing and wholeness for those currently experiencing abuse, and also aims to change the attitudes and behaviours of those who use abuse and control in relationships. Whilst this work is very important, more attention is now being given to address the underlying drivers of domestic abuse; that is, changing ‘the soil in which it grows.’ This is called primary prevention.

Primary prevention:

  • • addresses the social issues that underlie domestic abuse
  • • changes dangerous attitudes and beliefs that lead to domestic abuse
  • • creates the foundations that form healthy relationships

About Anglicare

Anglicare’s vision is Jesus Christ honoured, lives enriched and communities strengthened. For over 160 years Anglicare has cared for vulnerable people and seniors through services including food and financial assistance; counselling and mental health programs; child, family and youth services; cross cultural services; Op Shops; disaster recovery; chaplaincy; affordable housing; home care; residential aged care and retirement living.

As a Christ-centred organisation, Anglicare strives to demonstrate a distinctively Christian philosophy of care that shapes our culture and service delivery.

About YouthWorks

Youthworks supports the work of the gospel in churches and schools as part of an effective youth and children’s ministry in every church.

Support services

1800 737 732
Online chat available
NSW Domestic Violence Line
1800 65 64 63
Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800
Online chat available
Anglicare Domestic Violence Advisor
0438 826 556
Advice for ministers in the Sydney Anglican Diocese for domestic abuse in a church-related setting.
Youthworks Ministry Support Team
02 8268 3355
Online chat available

Youthworks Ministry Support team members are experienced advisors who partner with local churches to equip, educate and grow ministries to children, youth and families