Welcome to the first day of the 16 Days of Activism. Today we celebrate the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women. One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence by a current or former partner, since the age of 15 years. One woman dies at the hands of a current or former partner almost every week in Australia.
Did you know that within the catchment of Southern Melbourne PCP between 2010 and 2014 we have seen an increase in family violence incidents ranging from 39 % in City of Port Phillip to a massive 82.3 % increase in the City of Bayside? This is the highest in our region.
The causes of violence against women are complex and varied. However, long-term research has shown that there are three things that underpin and create a culture where violence against women can occur.
The first is gender inequality. Despite it being 2015, women and men still do not have equal power or resources and women’s voices, ideas and work are not valued in the same way, e.g. across Australia women continue to be significantly under-represented in parliament and executive government.
The second is rigid gender roles. There is a belief within society that women and men should act in certain ways or are better at certain things based on their sex eg: women are better at cleaning than men.
The third is violence supportive attitudes, norms, behaviours and practices. There is often an acceptance of violent acts such as excusing the incident, e.g. he was drunk, or shifting the blame to the victim, e.g. she was wearing a short skirt. It is an insidious violation of human rights; but it can, and should be prevented.
Its time to act on our watch.
There is much we all can do individually and collectively to prevent violence against women from happening in our home, in our community, in our country and in our world.
Join us over the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign to find out more about violence against women and what you can do to contribute to the prevention of violence against women.