Today’s release of the latest National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS) shows that serious cultural change is needed to end violence against women.
The Australian National Research Organisation on Women Safety (ANROWS) has conducted the survey every four years since 2009. While attitudes towards family, sexual and domestic violence improved initially, today’s report shows attitudes have stalled and much more work needs to be done to overturn harmful stereotypes that drive gendered violence.
We need comprehensive respectful relationships education, more data on perpetration, and full funding for prevention and early intervention programs.
Lines attributable to Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women Senator Larissa Waters
“Community attitudes towards victim-survivors highlighted in today’s ANROWS survey show just how far we have to go in the fight against gendered violence.
“The fact that more than 30 per cent of respondents believe women in custody battles make up or exaggerate claims of violence is staggering, and a timely indicator of the need for the Family Law reforms being introduced by the government today.
“Misconceptions about where violence occurs perpetuate the issue and keep it hidden - 90 per cent of respondents agreed that violence against women is a national problem, but only 47 per cent believed it was a problem within their own suburb or town. But the evidence is clear: it is a problem in every suburb, in every town, and it is being perpetrated by people we know.
“The survey also helps to explain low rates of reporting. Is it any wonder that victim-survivors are reluctant to come forward when so many people openly disbelieve them, and when so many women report being re-traumatised by the justice system?
“Stopping violence against women will take systemic action to tackle root causes and transform harmful social norms, but it also requires adequate funding of the organisations that do the hard work on the frontlines of this epidemic.
“Funding for prevention programs, including Our Watch’s Respectful Relationships, would help embed a culture of gender equality and should be part of our national curriculum from early childhood education onwards.
“The ANROWS data shows far too many people do not know where to go when experiencing abuse. And we know that far too many people who do reach out to over-stretched services cannot get support because services simply cannot meet demand.
“The women’s safety sector has repeatedly said that it will take an investment of $1B per year to ensure no one seeking help is turned away. This is the absolute minimum Australians should expect.
“The Greens will continue to call for women’s safety to be a priority in the May budget. Everyone should read the ANROWS survey today and work in their homes, communities and workplaces to start positive conversations about respect and ending gendered violence.”