Sophie Elliott’s mother shares her story
“As a legacy to Sophie, it is the aim of the Sophie Elliott Foundation to raise the awareness of all young women, and their families and friends, of the signs of partner abuse.” Lesley Elliott, Sophie’s Mother
Not long after her daughter Sophie, lost her life at the hands of a former boyfriend, Lesley Elliott began to research ‘women and abuse’. It wasn’t long before she realised all the signs of an abusive relationship were there in front of her and Sophie. They simply didn’t recognise them. Lesley surmised that if neither she nor Sophie could see the signs, particularly in a psychologically abusive situation, then thousands of other women mightn’t see them either.
This realisation ignited Lesley to embark on a mission to talk about the signs of abuse and what we can do to educate young people about keeping safe from abusive relationships.
Lesley Elliott recently presented at the monthly ‘Grand Round’ professional development session at Nelson Marlborough Health. Her presentation centred on the signs and red flags in an unhealthy relationship and how this impacts on health professionals.
Lesley leads the Sophie Elliott Foundation, which aims to shift attitudes towards relationship violence and to ensure the next generation recognise and reject all signs of abuse, power and control.
In partnership with the New Zealand Police, the Sophie Elliott Foundation, has developed a one day, interactive workshop for year 12 students called ‘Loves-Me-Not’. The programme looks at what constitutes a healthy (equal) relationship and what can trigger an unhealthy (controlling) one. Issues such as consent and being a bystander form important parts of the workshop.
Photo: Bill O’Brien and Lesley Elliott from the Sophie Elliott Foundation speaking at the Grand Round at Nelson Marlborough Health in September.