Domestic Violence Ad Campaign Asks Australians To ‘Stop It From The Start

April 21, 2016

A young boy slamming a door on a girl as a “joke.” A tubby tween being berated by his dad for throwing “like a girl.” A tense argument in a car.

A woman cowering, terrified, on the floor as her enraged partner looms over her, venom in his stare.

It is the confronting new government ad campaign targeting domestic violence, urging Australian men to “stop it from the start” and stamp out potential steps toward violence before they can take root. It’s the ad looking to eradicate even small and ‘minor’ disrespect, to remove the excuse that “boys will be boys.”

The $30 million campaign was unveiled by Social Services Minister Christian Porter and Minister for Women Michaelia Cash on Wednesday. The TV advertisement, titled “Respect,” travels between time periods in the life of a boy and girl, aiming to illustrate how disrespectful behaviour towards women can turn into something darker.

The government said the ad is targeted at “influencers” — parents, family, teachers, coaches, community leaders, employers — to “become more aware of what they say and do.”

“Australia has a disturbingly high rate of violence against women, whether it be domestic and family violence, sexual assault or sexual harassment in the workplace. And the fact is, and the research is now indisputable, that gender inequality lies at the heart of much of this utterly unacceptable violence.”

The ad campaign will officially begin on Sunday, with television commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, public transport, cinema and digital.

On average, one woman is killed every week at the hands of a current or former partner while one in three women has been a victim of physical or sexual violence since the age of 15, the government said.

“People know that violence against women is wrong; what they may not know is that we — all of us — can unknowingly excuse and therefore perpetuate the behavior that can lead to violence,” Porter said.

“Our research shows that too often, adults believe that disrespectful or aggressive behaviour by young males towards young females is something that should be understood rather than judged and discouraged. Research shows adults often unwittingly excuse objectively unacceptable behaviour with notions such as ‘boys will be boys.’ Click here to read more.

Visit www.respect.gov.au for more information on the campaign.

The 2016 Stop Domestic Violence Conference will be held on 5 – 7 December at the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane. To express your interest in the 2016 Conference CLICK HERE.

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