Natasha Stott Despoja launches anti-violence guidelines
Australia’s first evidence-based framework for preventing violence against women and children is due to be launched at Parliament House on Tuesday by Natasha Stott Despoja, who is chair of the violence-prevention organisation, Our Watch.
Stott Despoja said no other country had such a framework to guide governments, the private sector, communities and other organisations in developing their policies to prevent violence against women and children.
“It is based on cutting-edge international research,” she told Guardian Australia.
“Evidence shows a strong link between gender inequality and levels of violence against women. Gender inequality is not only expressed through imbalances in economic or political power and rights – it is also found in individual and community beliefs about what men and women are like, and how they are ‘supposed’ to behave.
“This is a roadmap for collective action to prevent violence against women and their children in Australia.”
Called Change the Story, the framework was developed by Our Watch in partnership with VicHealth and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. More than 400 stakeholders had input.
It is a part of the 12-year national plan to reduce violence against women and their children developed by the state, territory and commonwealth governments.
To reduce violence against women, the framework calls, among other things, for violence against women to be challenged; women’s independence to be promoted; gender stereotypes and roles to be challenged; and positive, equal and respectful relations between women and men to be strengthened.
An educational video will also been launched to complement the framework.
The minister for women, Michaelia Cash, is among the speakers who are scheduled to speak at the launch, and said evidence-based guidance was essential for governments and agencies trying to address violence against women.
“The framework helps us recognise and understand the gendered nature of violence against women and the gender stereotypes, inequality and disrespect that drive it,” Cash said.
“To change the story that ends in violence, we must begin with equality and respect.”
- If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au