Prevent men’s violence against women

Archive for November, 2018

ANROWS release their 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS)

Today, our National Plan partner ANROWS released findings from their 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS).

While the results reveal Australia’s improving attitude towards violence against women, they also uncover some worrying trends.

Some of the positive results:

  • Most Australians have accurate knowledge of violence against women and do not endorse this violence.
  • Australians are more likely to understand that violence against women involves more than just physical violence in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
  • Australians are less likely to hold attitudes supportive of violence against women in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.

Some of the concerning results:

  • A concerning proportion of Australians believe that gender inequality is exaggerated or no longer a problem.
  • Among attitudes condoning violence against women, the highest level of agreement was with the idea that women use claims of violence to gain tactical advantage in their relationships with men.
  • 1 in 5 Australians would not be bothered if a male friend told a sexist joke about women.

White Ribbon Australia commend ANROWS for coordinating and producing this important data around Australians’ attitudes towards violence against women and gender equality. The important information contained in the report helps us better understand how to stop violence before it starts and change the attitudes of Australians to end this epidemic problem.

Read all the key findings and download the report at ANROWS’ website.

2017 NCAS results2017 NCAS results2017 NCAS results

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Parliament needs to set the example for respect in the workplace

This week, we have witnessed more examples of disrespect in Federal Parliament.

Australians have observed sexist comments, name-calling, shouting and disrespect during Question Time and in other parliamentary forums which would not be acceptable in any other workplace. On average, one in five Australian women experience harassment within the workplace [1]. Opposing views and strong debate are an integral part of our democracy and forthright  views are expected. However, too often the discourse crosses the line to disrespect and abuse. The antics in Canberra this week are a prime example of workplace disrespect.

“We look to our national leaders to set the standard for workplace behaviour. The majority of Australia’s workforce (94 per cent) agrees that employers should take a lead role in educating
employees about respectful relationships between men and women [2].

“It is clear that this week’s events, either singularly or as a grouping, has showcased disrespect for women and for fellow colleagues in the workplace. It has sent a clear message to the Australian community that this is the standard too many in our parliament are prepared to walk past,” said Acting CEO, Delia Donovan.

It is this sort of behaviour that the White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation Program aims to stamp out.

More than 170 workplaces and 600,000 employees across the country have made an active and conscious decision to lead by example in their workplace. They have committed to driving social change, to strengthen gender equality and stop violence against women. They have committed to improving workplace culture and morale, increase knowledge and skills of staff to address disrespect, abuse and violence against women and improve retention rates and ensure lower staff turnover.

White Ribbon urges all parliamentarians to remember that while they should engage in robust debate they should also, at the same time, be mindful that their workplace is very much in the public eye. Australians look at, and up to, the behaviours and attitudes of our political leaders who represent them and they are expected to set a positive example with their words and actions.

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Personal Safety Survey 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS.
[2] Pennay, D. & Powell, A. (2012). The role of bystander knowledge, attitudes & behaviours in preventing violence against women.
Melbourne: The Social Research Centre.

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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House of Representatives show support for White Ribbon Day

White Ribbon Australia would like to thank members of the Australian House of Representatives for showing their support for White Ribbon Day and standing in solidarity with survivors of gender-based violence.

Men’s violence against women is a problem for women, but it’s not a woman’s problem. Yesterday, members of Parliament highlighted the importance of men and women standing alongside one another to end violence in Australian communities.

As of November 27, 2018 63 women have been killed by violence in Australia.

1 in 6 women experience abuse before the age of fifteen.

Violence against women is estimated to cost the Australian economy $22 billion a year.

Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and their children.

Thank you to the following members for standing up and speaking out about this crucial issue:

Ms Emma Husar MP

Mr Rowan Ramsey MP

Ms Susan Lamb MP

Hon Damian Drum MP

Ms Gai Brodtmann MP

Mr Patrick Gorman MP

 

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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What is an active bystander?

You may have heard of the term ‘bystander’ before, but what does being an “active bystander” mean?

Being an active bystander means seeing a situation unfolding and doing something about it. Taking action. Not just standing by. It means effectively (and safely) intervening when you see someone looking uncomfortable or if they’re in danger.

The opposite of an active bystander means seeing a situation unfold and doing nothing about it when you can. An inactive bystander or witness, if you will. And being inactive is more common than you’d think.

A term known as the bystander effect’ was coined to describe this very social phenomenon.

What is the bystander effect?

The term ‘bystander effect’ came about after the infamous murder of Kitty Genovese in New York City, 1964.

Kitty was a 28 year-old woman working at a bar in Queens. One night after a shift, a man named Winston Moseley followed her outside her apartment and stabbed her 14 times. After walking away and leaving Kitty for dead, Moseley came back and stabbed her several more times until she died, after no one came to her aid.

Kitty Genovese-bystander effect-White Ribbon Australia

Reportedly, 38 of her neighbours witnessed the attack, hearing her cries for help (the number has been debated in subsequent years) but failed to step in and help her.

After this tragic incident, social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley popularized the term bystander effect’ that describes situations just like this.

Why do we do this?

There are two major causes of the bystander effect.

The first is due to a diffusion of responsibility. This means that, in the presence of many other people, there is no pressure for any one person to respond. When there are many witnesses, individuals don’t feel the responsibility to act, since the responsibility is thought to be shared among all of the witnesses present.

The second reason is due to social influence and conformity. As individuals, we monitor the behaviour of those around us to determine how to act because of the need to behave in socially acceptable ways. This can mean that when other witnesses fail to react, individuals take this as a signal that a response is not needed.

If not now, then when? If not you, then who?

As a functioning society, we have a responsibility to take care of each other. This starts at an individual level with separate people standing up and speaking out for their fellow human beings.

But, it’s important to have the skills to be able to safely intervene. You now know what being an active bystander is, you just need to know what to do if you ever find yourself in that situation.

What can I do to be an active bystander?

If you see someone being harassed, and you feel safe to do so, step in and offer assistance. This is especially important when the person in danger is part of an oppressed or minority groups including, women, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Taking action can look like many things. It could mean:

  • Calling police
  • Saying something to the perpetrator to diffuse the situation
  • Showing the perpetrator that you’re there and watching what’s going on
  • Saying something to the people beside you about what you’re seeing (loud enough for the assailant to hear)
  • Pretending that you know the person being harassed or starting a conversation with them so they’re not alone.

From big things to smaller things, showing solidarity with the person experiencing harassment makes all the difference.

Our STOP model is an easy way to remember what to do. STOP stands for See, Talk, Offer support, Prevent.

 

Author Madeline Storey is the Communications Coordinator at White Ribbon Australia.

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White Ribbon Statement regarding Engadine shooting

White Ribbon Australia’s, Acting CEO, Delia Donovan said we are saddened to learn of the tragic domestic violence incident in Engadine this morning.

“Today we awoke to learn of another family violence incident in the Sydney suburb of Engadine. This incident sadly included the death of a family member, and is now under investigation by NSW Police. The family have been traumatised by this tragedy.

“Australian’s level of family and domestic violence has to stop. We are at a crisis point, and we cannot continue to sit by and watch while families are terrorised by violence. Women and children are being traumatised by violence in their homes every day.

“Family violence is at extraordinary levels across our communities. This is preventable, we can all work together to avoid tragic incidences like todays.

“Today is White Ribbon Day and we must come together as a community, speak out, say enough is enough and act together to end men’s violence against women,” Ms Donovan said.

“We stand side-by-side with our social services sector. Together we have a clear understanding of how to end men’s violence against women.

“We need Government to invest in primary prevention and frontline services. We need to educate children and adults about respect. We need to invest in evidence-based prevention programs in our schools, workplaces and communities in order for this to end. We need to call out all forms of disrespect, abuse and violence against women.

“How many more family members need to die, or suffer these tragedies?”

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SA Government’s Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) has seen success in supporting people at risk of domestic violence

South Australia’s recent early intervention and prevention initiative, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), has seen success in its first 4 weeks.

Potential victims of domestic violence have had the chance to find out if their current or former partner has a history of violence or related offences, since October 2 this year. This allows them to make an informed decision about their safety, seek assistance and decide whether or not to remain in the relationship.

During the first 4 weeks of the scheme, SA Police received 28 applications; 70% from metropolitan areas and 30% from regional areas.

Human Services Minister, the Hon Michelle Lensink said that the scheme isn’t just about the disclosure itself but putting people in touch with the services they may need and perhaps would never have come across if not for the scheme.

“Most importantly, the 28 people who have already used the disclosure scheme have been put in touch with a range of support services, giving them a new option for support now and into the future,” Ms Lensink said.

Read the full statement from the SA Government here.

White Ribbon Australia support this scheme, designed to support and protect people at risk of domestic and family violence, and connect them with vital support services.

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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Another woman murdered, the night before White Ribbon Day 2018

We are horrified to learn of the latest, devastating act of gender-based violence in Australia.

Emily Miller, a mother of four children, was found in her home in Geelong after being shot in the stomach in the presence of a convicted criminal who had just been released from jail.

Emily marks the 63rd woman to die at the hand of violence so far this year. Our heart goes out to the family and friends affected by Emily’s death.

Australia has lost far too many women at the hands of violent men. On average, one woman a week is murdered by a current or former partner in Australia.

Men’s violence against women is absolutely abhorrent and we must act together as a community to end all forms of violence and abuse in our community.

We must stand up, speak out and act to end all forms of violence against women and children.

 

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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White Ribbon welcomes changes to strengthen Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) by NSW Government

New legislation passed by the NSW Government yesterday doubles the default duration of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) and gives police the power to make urgent changes to strengthen orders protecting victims.

The changes outlined by the NSW Government include:

  • The default length of ADVOs will increase from 12 months to two years.
  • Courts will be able to grant indefinite ADVOs in severe cases.
  • ADVOs will automatically extend for two years after an adult offender is released from prison, a period when the risk of reoffending is known to be elevated.
  • Senior police will be given the power to immediately vary ADVOs to respond to serious and immediate risks to victims, until a court can consider the matter.

White Ribbon Australia welcome these changes designed to boost protection for victims of domestic and family violence.

Read the full statement from the NSW Government here.

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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The murder of Maria Van Beers marks 61 women killed in Australia in 2018

We are horrified to learn of the murder of Maria Van Beers, by her ex-husband, at their Tweed Heads townhouse on November 12th. The mother of two had reportedly been married to her husband for 37 years before they separated a couple of years ago.

“We’re outraged by yet another act of gender-based violence in Australia. All women should be able to live in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse. Violence against women must end today. There’s so much more that needs to be done so we don’t see another tragic incident like this unfold.” said Delia Donovan, Acting CEO.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends affected by Maria’s death. This year we have lost far too many women at the hands of violent men. This is utterly unacceptable and inexcusable.

On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner in Australia, with violence against women accounting for 61 women’s deaths in 2018.

Men’s violence against women is absolutely abhorrent and we must act together as a community to end all forms of gender-based violence and abuse in our community.

We urge Australians to stand up, speak out and act to end all forms of men’s violence against women.

 

This policy statement represents the organisational position of White Ribbon Australia. It does not represent the individual opinions and views of our stakeholders, including, but not limited to, our Ambassadors, Advocates, Partners and staff members.

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