Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary, in coordination with the Mary Foundation, Centre for Family Development and Ole Kirk’s Fund, hosted and participated in the “Respect on the Table – Strengthen Healthy Relationships and Respectful Communication in Early Adolescence” Conference, which is part of the Loving Measure programme, in Copenhagen this past week. Mary spoke during the conference and visited with the other participants where different exercises were conducted at various stations.
The programme Loving Measure was a course initiated to help prevent dating violence through respectful dialogue. They Royal Danish House said in a press release, “The ambition is to develop young people’s abilities to handle difficult emotions so they can better maintain secure relationships with each other, and so later in life, they are not subjected to dating violence or other forms of violent relationships.”
The Mary Foundation said that Her Royal Highness stressed to those in attendance the importance of understanding that “life is full of both stunning and challenging experiences, but it is how we handle it, which is hard, essentially”. On 8 November, the participants went through different exercises about dialogue, body expression, and musical indulgence. Other stations included the themes of aggressive, passive and respectful communication and dating violence where over 150 teachers were welcomed to the conference.
Crown Princess Mary also stressed, “School life, youth life, yes, and life itself is full of amazing experiences with other people, but it also involves difficult emotions and situations – it can not and we must change, but we can change the way we handle them, and on what consequences we let them get to ours and others’ lives.”
She concluded her speech by saying, “We all need secure relationships where we can be ourselves, where we can flourish and grow. This of course also applies when you are on the road to graduating and entering the transition to adulthood. The ability to communicate respectfully – to show up and demand respect – is a shortcut to secure close relationships, and it is an important prerequisite for a good youth – socially as well as professionally.”
The Mary Foundation said that one person in each primary school class ends up in an abusive relationship by age 24. It is also estimated that roughly 33,000 women in Denmark are subjected to domestic violence per year.