Sophie Elliott's mother drives foundation

WILMA MCCORKINDALE IN DUNEDIN
Last updated 11:29 07/02/2013
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Lesley Elliott at the launch of the Sophie Elliott Foundation
Elliots
VICTIMS: Sophie Elliott with her mother Lesley Elliott in 2006.

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Five years on, the legacy of murdered young Dunedin woman Sophie Elliott is materialising.

Sophie died at the hands of her former boyfriend Clayton Weatherston, on January 9, 2008.

Her mother, Lesley Elliott - who says the tragic loss of her loved daughter is getting tougher each year - has been telling Sophie's story to schools and organisations nationwide.

Through the Sophie Elliott Foundation, Elliott created a programme to prevent violence against young women by their partners or ex-partners, which is well under way.

The programme has been adapted from an Australian model. It is being piloted in seven New Zealand schools in term two of this year, including some Otago schools.

"These are schools I've spoken at and have agreed to the programme. They want to be involved."

These represent a cross section of types of schools from low decile to private institutions, she said.

"So, we've decided to go to schools that are really keen first. Then they will persuade the schools that are not so keen. There are some who say they are not interested and don't have that problem in their area, but police tell me every area has problems with domestic violence and every area could do with it."

Elliott said the programme was ready, with a little fine-tuning.

"It covers the things I want to cover which are basically relationship stuff and recognising the signs of psychological abuse. "The programme will be professionally evaluated and we'll go from there."

Public help is being sought to find a name for the programme. See facebook.com/sophieelliottfoundation.

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