25 November each year is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The 2017 theme is “Leave no one behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”. From 25 November to 10 December 2017, which is Human Rights Day, the United Nations UNiTE is leading the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.
Violence against women and girls is a global issue affecting every country. The 16 Days of Activism this year will feature a number of spotlight days highlighting far reaching consequences of violence against women and girls in some of the most marginalised and underserved groups: Indigenous Women & Girls, Women Human Rights Defenders, Violence against Women with Disabilities, and Women in Rural Communities.
For violence against women to stop, we need to create gender equality
Research shows that countries that have higher rates of gender equality have lower rates of domestic violence. It is up to all of us, women and men to take action to prevent domestic violence by creating cultures of equality and respect in our homes, public places, and work places.
In Australia, violence against women sees on average one woman per week murdered by her current or former or intimate partner. Approximately one in three women has experienced physical violence, and almost one in five has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. This is unacceptable, and preventable.
Australia has a National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, with a vision that Australian women and their children live free from violence in safe communities.
Our Watch, have developed an evidence based, integrated national framework to address and eliminate the causes of violence against women and their children
It shows that Gendered Drivers of Violence against women include:
- Condoning of violence against women
- Men’s control of decision making and limits to women’s independence
- Stereotyped constructions of masculinity and feminity
- Disrespect towards women and male peer relations that emphasise aggression
Violence against women is completely preventable if we all work together. We need all men and women in Australia to stand up, take action and commit to achieving gender equality, and an end to violence against women and their children.
Our Watch recommend the following Actions to prevent Violence against women:
- Challenging condoning of violence against women
- Promote women’s independence and decision making
- Challenge gender stereotypes and roles
- Strengthen positive, equal and respectful relationships
If you do not personally commit and take a stand against violence, gender inequality, jokes that degrade or humiliate women, then you are culpable and complicit. Staying silent is effectively condoning this type of behaviour. Don’t be a bystander. Speak up, speak out and make our country safe for women.
Our Watch have also created an online resource called The Line for young people aged 12-20 as a primary prevention behaviour change campaign that encourages healthy, respectful relationships by challenging attitudes and behaviours that support violence.
The latest Workplace Gender Equality Agency Report shows that increasingly workplaces are responding to support employees who are victims of domestic violence
Employers who have a formal policy or strategy to support employees who are experiencing family or domestic violence, had increased to 43.1%. Most organisations (81.9%) offered other forms of support, including flexible working arrangements (61%), access to unpaid leave (59.6%) and referral to relevant domestic violence support services (34.9%).
Does your workplace offer domestic violence leave, for those suffering the effects of domestic violence? Do you have workplace policies and programs that promote inclusion, diversity and women in leadership?
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence and need help or support
Please contact one of the National or State based support services that can assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you need assistance in Australia please call
the national domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT.
In an emergency call triple zero.
Read Alison Blyth’s post on why Domestic Violence is a Workplace Issue.
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