16 Days of Activism

On average, one Australian woman is murdered each week by her current or former partner.

18 November 2019

So far this year, 48 women have been violently killed. Last year, that figure was 71.

Alpine Shire Council and Alpine Health are joining forces to address gender-based violence through 16 Days of Activism, by sharing the Respect Victoria ‘Call It Out’ campaign from November 25 – December 10.

Council Chief Executive Officer Charlie Bird said he was shocked to learn how many women were being murdered by men they knew.

“All violence is wrong, regardless of the sex of the victim or perpetrator, but the number of women being killed by men is appalling,” he said.

“We know that both men and women are more likely to experience violence at the hands of men, with around 95% of all victims of violence in Australia reporting a male perpetrator.

“While men are more likely to experience violence by other men in public places, women are more likely to experience violence from men they know, often in the family home.”

Violence against women is recognised to be a serious and widespread problem in Australia, with enormous individual and community impacts, health implications and social costs.

Council and Alpine Health are partnering with local businesses to promote awareness of the campaign, encouraging people to have conversations about family violence.

While there is no single cause of violence against women, evidence shows that there are four key drivers:

Condoning violence – attitudes, words and actions that trivialise, make light of or justify violence against women and allows people to think that violence is acceptable and excusable.

Inequality between men and women – women continue to earn less than men, are under-represented in political and workplace leadership roles and perform the majority of domestic labour

Gender stereotypes – gender norms are harmful to both men and women because they limit a person’s choices and opportunities

Disrespect towards women – accepting jokes and comments that reinforce the idea that women should be less powerful than men means that violence towards women is more likely to be excused.

Alpine Health Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Seys said the campaign calls on everyone to call out disrespectful and sexist behaviour, and to stop normalising the early behaviours that lead to violence against women.

“Though some people think this behaviour is harmless or not their business, research shows they are actually some of the most well-known causes of family violence,” he said.

Members of the community and community groups are encouraged to be involved in the campaign.

Contact Alpine Health or Alpine Shire Council for information and resources to be involved.

Family violence is a broad term which refers not only to violence between intimate partners but also to violence between family members.

This includes, for example, elder abuse and adolescent violence against parents. Family violence includes violent or threatening behaviour, or any other form of behaviour that coerces or controls a family member or causes that family member to be fearful.

For more information about prevention of all forms of family violence and violence against women, go to respectvictoria.vic.gov.au.

If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, help is available. 

In an emergency call 000. For all other enquiries contact safesteps.org.au or the Centre Against Violence Family Violence Helpline 24/7 on 1800 015 188.

If you are an adult male experiencing family violence contact Merri Health on 1300 362 739.

Image: Alpine Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Charlie Bird and Alpine Health Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Seys.

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