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#16 Days of Activism – 2019

Day 16

Day 16 of #16DaysofActivism, the final day of the campaign, is a reminder and a call to action to consider how you can work towards preventing gender-based violence against women. Preventing violence is a shared effort, which needs everyone to work together.

Did you increase your awareness or understanding of preventing gender-based violence against women from this #16DaysofActivism Campaign? Would you like to provide feedback? We’d love to hear from you! We’ve developed a survey for our followers to provide feedback.

Thanks for following The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre #16DaysofActivism. We look forward to continuing to engage and work with our staff, partners and stakeholders across all settings.

Day 15

Day 15 of #16DaysofActivism focuses on young Australians attitudes towards violence against women and gender equality.

Encouragingly, the recent National Community Attitudes Survey (NCAS) revealed that most young Australians (those aged 16-24 years) have a good knowledge of key aspects of violence against women, support gender equality and reject attitudes supportive of violence against women (ANROWS 2017).

Of concern however, nearly a third of young men (32%) believe that ‘a lot of times’ women who say they were raped had led the man on and then had regret (ANROWS 2017).

The key findings of the report have been summarised by young people in a video, or you can read the report –…/2017NCAS-Youth-SubR…


Day 14

Day 14 of #16DaysofActivism focuses on bystander action amongst friends and bystander action in the workplace.

If a male friend insulted his female partner in front of you, would you be bothered? The 2017 National Community Attitudes Survey reveals that 98% of Australians would be. Even more encouragingly, 68% of people think that if they said something, they would have the support of their friends. So if you hear a male friend insulting their partner, know that most of your friendship group would have your back if you said something.

We also need to be mindful that if stepping forward, we are not putting our own safety at risk. In the workplace, bystander action is when an employee steps in when they see or hear sexist language, sexual harassment or sex discrimination. Action can many forms. It may look like calling out a sexist joke made by a colleague, talking to a colleague about disrespectful behaviour or identifying and changing workplace practices. (VIC Health 2014). A safe and inclusive workplace is also a productive workplace.

Our colleagues at Respect Victoria have developed a resource for people interested in learning about bystander action. Visit…/respect-women-call… for more information.

#ANROWS Respect Victoria

Day 13

Day 13 of #16DaysofActivism focuses on men’s violence.

Masculinity is a social construction that sets expectations and standards on how men should think and behave. These ideas of masculinity are embedded in our social norms, structures and practices. Violence and aggression are strongly associated with masculinity (Our Watch, 2019).

Men who adhere to the social idea of masculinity are more likely to harm to themselves, other men and inflict violence against women (Kaufman, 1987).

To stop this cycle of violence we need to challenge ideas of what it is to ‘be a man’ and break away from the normalisation of violence and aggression. We must encourage all people break away from gendered stereotypes of masculine and feminine traits and not place people in ridged gendered boxes.

To see the research report from Our Watch about masculinity please visit…/47b…/Men-in-focus-web.pdf.aspx

Our Watch

Day 12

Day 12 of #16DaysofActivism explores people’s perceptions of safety in the home vs safety in the streets.

In relation to perceptions of safety in the home, women are actually more likely to experience sexual assault by someone they know, rather than a stranger. 1 in 3 Australians are unaware of this fact (ANROWS 2017).

Results from a 2016 ABS study revealed that nine out of ten women who have been sexually assaulted knew their assailant, and women are more likely to experience physical assault in their home as opposed to other places (ABS 2017).

Moving to the streets and perceptions of safety in public places, according to recent research by XYX Lab (Monash University), brighter spaces aren’t necessarily safer spaces. Researchers predict that this is because women know very brightly lit places drop away to very dark areas and their eyes take time to adjust to different lighting (ABC 2019).

Historically, cities have been designed by men and for men. Women’s voices haven’t been included in the design process and consideration of lighting in public spaces in an indicator of broader societal issues.

The full report can be viewed…/xyx-lab-monash-space-gender-commun…. We look forward to Nicole Kalms from XYXLab presenting at the February 2020 meeting of the Primary Prevention Community of Practice.

#ANROWS #MonashUniversity

Day 11

Day 11 of #16DaysofActivism focuses on the definition of intersectionality, its role in preventing gender-based violence against women and support options for people from diverse communities.

Gender inequality affects everyone, including children, young people, adults and other groups in society differently. The severity and prevalence of violence increases for people who face a number of inequalities. For example, Aboriginal women’s experience of gender inequality intersects with the impacts of colonisation and violence dispossession.

#OurWatch acknowledges that while addressing gender inequality is critical for the prevention of gender-based violence against women, it is essential to acknowledge that gender inequality cannot be separated from other forms of inequality (OurWatch 2018)

It is important for service providers to understand intersectionality and the drivers behind inequality. This ensures all services are able to equip themselves with the information, research and resources to support and refer their clients to the best practice for an individuals need.

#Q Life Australia #Switchboard #Drummond Street #Thorne Harbour Health #Wathaurong #Orange Door

Day 10

On Day 10 of #16DaysofActivism we highlight the work of one of our primary prevention partners, Women’s Health Grampians

Women’s Health Grampians leads the Communities of Respect and Equality Alliance (CoRE). CoRE Alliance is a partnership of organisations (including The SAFV Centre), businesses, clubs, groups and networks from across the Grampians Region that share a vision for safe, equal and respectful communities.

This afternoon at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, the Not In My Workplace Summit is welcomed. Business leaders in the Ballarat region will come together to hear from high calibre presenters addressing the issue of workplace harassment and abuse across all industries. The summit has been co-ordinated collaboratively by Not In My Work Place and Grampians CoRE and is supported by Sovereign Hill, Committee for Ballarat, Commerce Ballarat, City of Ballarat and UFS Dispensaries.

To register or find out more, visit

Day 9

On Day 9 of #16DaysofActivism we focus on gender stereotypes and how they impact on gender inequality in the home.

Gender stereotypes are oversimplied ideas, messages and images about differences between genders. They have become meaningful because society has given them meaning. Terms like ‘girls only like…’ and ‘boys will be boys…’ present stereotypes as facts, rather than considering evidence about an individual’s talents. (Our Watch 2018)

These stereotypes can impact the opportunities people have access to, the language used to describe people and the division of responsibilities in the community, the workplace and the home. (Our Watch 2018)

Want to learn more about gender stereotypes? This video from Our Watch explains Change the Story, a national, shared framework for the prevention of violence against women.

Day 8

So now that we know what the definition of family violence is, Day 8 of #16DaysofActivism looks at healthy relationships and consent. Using the Duluth wheel created by the Domestic abuse intervention project we can see the direct opposition of power & control to equality.

Equality in relationships has many factors but unsurprisingly respect, support and honesty are listed within the Duluth wheel. All members of a relationships need to place consideration and care to create a relationship of fairness and shared responsibility.

To ensure all relationships are respectful let’s talk about sexual consent. #ANROWS NCAS survey revealed that 1 in 8 young Australians believe that women actually mean ‘yes’ when they are saying ‘no’. This is unacceptable. It is time to change our social culture around sex to a higher standard and only accept an enthusiastic YES!

Enthusiastic consent is part of the legal definition of consent and the Victorian Crimes Legislation Act 2010 defines consent as a ‘free agreement’. Any sexual act cannot be entered into under coercion, control or undue influence.

Continue the conversation of sex and consent – an enthusiastic yes means yes.

Day 7

What is family violence? Day 7 of #16DaysofActivism explores the definitions of family and definitions of family violence.

The definition of family is broad because family means different things to different people. Family might mean a biological relation, or anyone a person considers to be their family. This can include ‘family like’ relationships such as kindships, carers, mob and chosen family for the LGBTIQ+ communities.

Family violence has numerous forms, including physical, economic, psychological and sexual, and can happen in different kinds of family relationships.

In Australia, approximately one quarter of all women have experienced at least one incident of violence by an intimate partner. Women also account for three quarter of the people who experienced intimate partner violence since 15.

Intimate partner violence is the greatest health risk factor – greater than smoking, alcohol or obesity – for women in their reproductive years (ANROWS 2017)

In the LGBTQI+ community, Australian and international studies on gay and lesbian relationships have generally concluded that violence perpetrated by a partner occurs at a similar rate, if not higher, to that of men’s intimate partner violence against cisgendered women.

Want to help contribute to the SAFV Centre Breaking the Binary Code LGBTIQ+ family violence research? Please assist us by completing this survey monkey study:

Day 6

Day 6 of #16DaysofActivism explores the economic impact of violence against women.

A 2015 report of PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that that violence against women cost Australian employers $1.3 billion in the 2014-2015 year, and the Australian economy $21.7 billion.

Everyone has the right to be safe at work. Violence against women increases absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover, and reduces workplace productivity, job satisfaction and staff morale.

A national survey from the Australian Human Rights Commission reported 39% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work in the past 5 years.

Day 5

Day 5 of #16DaysofActivism focuses on the 2017 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) report, and the direct comparison between education attainment and earning potential for men and women.

The percentage of graduates entering the labour market within four months is relatively high, and there is fairly balanced gender balance proportion of graduates (Workplace gender equality agency 2019). However, results from the HILDA report in 2017 demonstrate a stark comparison in earnings between men and women.

  • Master’s degree or doctorate increases earnings by 67.1 per cent for men and 48.4 per cent for women.
  • Graduate diploma or certificate increases earnings by 64.1 per cent for men and 38.4 per cent for women.
  • Bachelor’s degree increases earnings by 55.7 per cent for men and 38.3 per cent for women.
  • Diploma or advanced diploma increases earnings by 39.2 per cent for men and 13.7 per cent for women.
  • Certificate Level 3 or 4 increases earnings by 24.6 per cent for men, but does not result in a significant increase in earnings for women.
  • Year 12 completion increases earnings by 17.2 per cent for men and 19.4 per cent for women.

Day 4

Day 4 of #16DaysOfActivism focuses on gender equality in the workplace. We look forward to Victoria’s Gender Equality Bill being debated in Parliament next year.

While women make up 47% of the workplace they are often paid less than men. Lack of workplace flexibility, part-time work and societal expectations that require women to largely contribute to the unpaid labour of care giving are all contributors to the gender pay gap.

Australia is committed to improve gender equality in the workplace as demonstrated by policy reform, including Victoria’s Gender Equality Bill. Laws that influence policy shifts, changes in social norms and shifts in attitudes close the gender pay gap.

Australia is currently ranked 35th out of 144 countries. Leaders in this area having gender equity laws currently in place; such as Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand to name a few (The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, 2018).

Reform’s such as the Victorian Gender Equality Bill, the Equal Opportunity Act (2010) and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities are designed to create more equitable workplaces, where workplace demographics will reflect the diversity of society, there is equal pay and zero tolerance for sex discrimination and harassment.

Day 3

The work of the Primary Prevention team of The SAFV Centre aims to prevent sexual assault and family violence before it even occurs, we do this by addressing the underlying drivers, and supporting primary prevention capacity building in the sector and beyond.

Our colleagues at #OurWatch and #ANROWS are key influencers in driving national change in culture and power imbalance through their research, framework develop and national approach to prevention of violence against women and their children.

Our Watch and ANROWS have identified through their research the four key drivers that influence a higher probability of violence against women and create a culture of gender inequality:

  • Condoning violence against women
  • Men’s control of decision making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life.
  • Rigid gender roles and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity
  • Male peer aggression and disrespect towards women.

Day 2

Day 2 of #16DaysofActivism explores the definition of gender equality and inequality, and the reasons why gender equality is good for all Victorians.

Gender equality exists when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. It prevents violence against women and girls, as gender inequality is the most consistent factor associated with violence against women. Gender equality is essential in creating a safer and healthier society.

Inequalities exist for our LGBTIQ+ community who do not adhere to the binary notions of gender and sexuality. When we grow up in a world that assumes everyone is heterosexual and cisgendered we create rigid gender roles and stereotypes that harms everyone.

The SAFV Centre is the lead organisation for the Breaking the Binary Code project which is partnered with @BATForce @CityofGreaterGeelong & @CreativeGeelong which aims to break down the drivers of family violence for our LGBTIQ+ community. This includes addressing the binary constructs of gender & sexuality. To find out more about this project please see here.

Day 1

To kick off Day 1 of #16DaysofActivism, The SAFV Centre welcomed our local government leaders and community services from the Barwon region to our Spring Street office to support the campaign in preventing gender-based violence against women.

Guests participated in a tour of The SAFV Centre and the Barwon Multidisciplinary Centre (MDC), as well a group photo to demonstrate their commitment to preventing gender-based violence against women. We thank everyone who came along to support the #16DaysofActivism campaign and the primary prevention work of The SAFV Centre. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders in preventing violence against women.

As we continue our support of the campaign over the next 16 days, join us on Facebook and Twitter for daily, evidence-based posts about preventing gender-based violence in the workplace, the home and on the streets.


#16DaysofActivism is a global campaign, from 25 November to 10 December annually, that calls for the prevention of gender-based violence against women. The campaign calls for individuals and organisations around the world to promote and increase community awareness and action to achieve gender equality.

The SAFV Centre will be delivering a number of activities throughout the 16 Days, including daily posts on our social media of evidence-based information about preventing gender-based violence against women in the workplace, in the home and on the streets.

From next Monday 25th November, follow the #16DaysofActivism on our Facebook and Twitter pages. This is an opportunity to increase our awareness of gender equality and collectively prevent gender-based violence against women.

The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of the land we stand on. We are committed to working toward creating a community where all people indigenous and non-indigenous are safe, connected and empowered to live well. The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre recognises the diverse needs of our community and we ensure our services are inclusive of all children, young people and their families including those who are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who identify as LGBTIQ and persons living with disability. We work collaboratively with people and partner organisations who also support our diverse client group. Interpreter and translator services are available to all our clients upon request.

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