Strong Partnership Preventing Relationship Violence
Zonta International supporting the Sophie Elliott Foundation Loves-Me-Not Programme
Zonta International District 16 New Zealand (Zonta) has extended the partnership formed with the Sophie Elliott
Foundation (SEF) in 2014 for a further two years. Based on a common goal of violence prevention by empowering women
through education awareness the relationship has gone from strength to strength.
Zonta clubs throughout New Zealand committed to raising the funding to provide a quality book resource to students
attending the police-run Loves-Me-Not workshops in secondary schools, at no cost to them or their schools. The book, Loves Me Not – How to Keep Relationships Safe, was written by Lesley Elliott and Bill O’Brien and contains useful information mainly provided by school guidance
counsellors along with a chapter One for the Boys by Nigel Latta.
The programme developed by SEF in partnership with New Zealand Police and the Ministry of Social Development is designed
to educate Year 12 students on healthy relationships and the more difficult subject of relationship abuse and consent.
The Foundation programme manager, Bill O’Brien, is delighted with the support from Zonta.
“We have now gone over the 400 classes figure of students doing Loves-Me-Not at present this year, so that’s around
10,000 students in almost 80 schools.”
The total number of books so far secured with funding from Zonta stands at 21,000 copies.
“That is quite exceptional,” Mr O’Brien said.
Sophie Elliott Foundation chair Lesley Elliott (MNZM) is also delighted with the involvement of Zonta clubs nationwide.
“We have received a lot of feedback as to the value of Loves-Me-Not from police, teachers and principals, but more
importantly from students,” Mrs Elliott said. “The contribution from Zonta clubs has been immense in making this book
available to students free of charge and we owe Zonta a huge debt of gratitude.”
Zonta District 16 Governor Janet Hope (QSM) said Zonta Clubs across the country had embraced “this important project and
their fundraising efforts have exceeded expectations.
“The Loves-Me-Not programme aligns very well with Zonta’s advocacy goals and commitment to improving the lives of women
and girls. The support from both Lesley Elliott and Bill O’Brien in attending events and public meetings to inform the
community has been integral to the success of the partnership and is very much appreciated by Zonta members.”
Zonta is a global organisation of executives and professionals working together to empower women through service and
advocacy. For more information please visit www.zonta.org.nz
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