The National Plan’s vision is an Australia free from all forms of violence and abuse against women and children. This is every woman’s and child’s right and everyone’s responsibility.
The fourth action plan of The National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2010-2022 outlines the Government’s agenda to achieve change and reduce violence against women and their children. “The National Plan is unprecedented in the way it focuses on preventing violence by raising awareness and building respectful relationships…. The aim is to bring attitudinal and behavioural change at the cultural, institutional and individual levels…”[i]
White Ribbon Australia understands the complexities that drive enforced gendered violence, structural inequalities, affirm attitudes and behaviours that enable violence against women.
White Ribbon Australia knows that the foundation for changing social attitudes, behaviours and systems lies in being curious, getting informed, and promoting and delivering evidence-based actions for change.
White Ribbon is a global movement that focuses on making personal and community change to prevent violence against women and children.
What is Violence Against Women?
“Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life”
Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society. It impacts on families, the community and the nation.
Violence against women is a gendered issue
To prevent violence against women, we must understand its gendered nature:
- Women are far more likely than men to experience sexual violence and violence from an intimate partner, and with more severe impacts.
- Women are more likely than men to be afraid of, hospitalised by, or killed by an intimate partner.
- Around 95% of all victims of violence, whether women or men, experience violence from a male perpetrator.
Violence against women occurs across cultures and communities. It takes many forms, including physical, sexual, social, emotional, cultural, spiritual and financial abuse, and a wide range of controlling, coercive and intimidating behaviour. Regardless of the form it takes, it is understood to be most often used by men and its impact is to limit and control women’s independence.
It’s important to understand that violence against women does not always need to involve physical abuse – often other forms of abuse (for example verbal abuse and threats, social isolation, limiting access to money) can be enough to impact a person’s behaviour and cause them to be fearful. Women often describe these non-physical forms of abuse as being severely damaging to their self-esteem, independence and wellbeing.
White Ribbon Australia understands that the range of types of violence and their impacts on women and girls occur on a continuum, so that behaviours such as sexist jokes are seen as resulting from the same culture that enables physical and sexual assault, and murder of women and girls. This understanding explains why the impact of various kinds of abuse on women and girls increases with experiences, and can affect their safety and wellbeing in different ways.
White Ribbon Australia joins with men in their own communities to look for opportunities to build a culture where women don’t experience violence and abuse. By doing this we are creating a safer and healthier space for women, men and diverse identities.
Our White Ribbon Round is proudly brought to us by our Community Partner, Tronox.