WATCH: Respect is key to love
THE all-too-common dark side of relationships is a difficult truth local high school students have been exploring.
Three Maryborough secondary schools took part in the Love Bites program, facilitated by police and other services, aiming to give 15 to 17 year olds skills to have respectful relationships.
Queensland Police's domestic and family violence coordinator for the region, Hayley Skyring, said part of the program was a creative session aimed at consolidating what the students have learnt.
"This year some funding was made available and combined 240 students from Maryborough High, Aldridge High and St Marys College to all contribute to making art work.
"This was completed with the help of some local artists and depicts the emotional effect domestic violence can have," she said.
Maryborough State High School year 10 student Patrick Shelford came up with the initial concept design.
"I consider domestic violence as a kind of cycle," the 16-year-old said.
"I think more often than not the people involved in these situations have had life experiences which has lead them to this point.
"The base design reflects this as it shows both the victim and the abusers life and what has affected them."
Classmate Mackenzie Hayes, 15, said she knew people affected by domestic and family violence and the experience was invaluable.
"People always say 'just leave' but it's not that simple," she said.
"It's not just physical violence, it can be financial, verbal and emotional abuse."
Local artists Akos Juhasz and Susie Lewis assisted with the art exhibition.
"Akos and I were very in awe of the maturity and deep thought the students put into developing an art piece they all could contribute to," Ms Lewis said.
"The themes and execution of the work were well beyond what we were expecting and the respect with which the students conducted themselves whilst exploring such mature ideas was inspiring.
"We were thrilled to be included in the project and are very proud of the results."
The artwork is currently on display at Gatakers art space for the month of October with the official opening on Friday night.