No to Violence Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Watt said while family and domestic violence was “everyone’s problem…it begins – and ends – with men”.
White Ribbon Australia National Director Allan Ball said it wasn’t enough to simply be horrified by the statistics and heartbroken by the stories.
“It’s critical that new funding is directed at a primary prevention level to address the underlying attitudes and behaviors that allow violence to thrive,” he said.
“We need to reach out to men and boys, bring them in, and make them part of the solution if we truly want to end gendered violence. Through primary prevention, Australia can take a whole-of population approach to first address the underlying factors and drivers of violence.”
White Ribbon Australia this week launched an ‘South Australian Election Toolkit’ on social media, enabling people to contact their local candidates to ask them about their commitment to ending gendered violence.
Ms Watt said significant political leadership and investment in prevention, early interventions and men’s behaviour change must happen if governments are serious about reducing – and ending – the scourge of family and domestic violence.
“For too long, victim-survivors have carried the burden of a system that puts women at risk because it focuses on what women should do to avoid violence, instead of what men should do to stop using violence.
“We need to help shift the burden of responsibility for family and domestic violence from victim survivors to the men who use violence.”
No to Violence this week released its South Australia Election Statement, calling for the next South Australia Government to fund:
• Investment in existing South Australian services working with men to end their use of family violence, to provide an integrated service response to police referrals and increase the number of available Men’s Behaviour Change Programs and specialist male family violence interventions.
• A fully resourced and formalised police outreach service – including relevant training for police officers – that ensures men identified by South Australia Police (SAPOL) as using violence are formally referred to the Men’s Referral Service.
• Expansion of existing crisis housing for perpetrators, to help keep victim-survivors safe in their homes, as part of a wider suite of perpetrator interventions.
“It is time to recognise that we cannot stop family and domestic violence until we stop men from using violence and abuse,” Ms Watt said.
Mr Ball said primary prevention programs should be defined and focused on supporting community-led primary prevention initiatives.
“This includes building a primary prevention workforce to deliver on the goals of the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022 – 2032,” he said.
“The deep roots of a culture that reinforces perceptions of gender inequality and violence against women in men underscores the importance of engaging with men on issues relating to women’s safety, gender stereotypes and increasing partnerships to achieve gender equality.
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we set the agenda for how we engage men and boys using a primary prevention approach to end men’s violence. To end it before it begins.”
You can read the joint press release here
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