The amount of domestic and personal violence recorded in
Australia over the last ten years is at record highs, with close to
half (44.8%) of all Australians experiencing violence since the age
of 15. However, whilst the proportion of men experiencing violence
in the last 12 months has reduced, the proportion of women
experiencing violence has not.
While men are more likely than women to experience physical
violence and, the majority of men experience physical violence from
another man, the statistics of women who have experienced physical
violence and sexual assault remains staggeringly high (often
perpetrated by a boyfriend/date). In addition, women are
significantly more likely than men to have experienced emotional
Whilst many organisations seek to assist victims of violence
following the violence occurring, the Federal Government has just
launched a new campaign, 'Stop it at the Start', which aims
to reduce the prevalence of violence against women by intervening
before it begins.
The campaign targets how parents raise young boys. Like an
earlier government campaign against excessive drinking, which
showed children mimicking the behaviour of their parents, the new
campaign highlights that some of the messages we receive in
childhood can contribute to an attitude that violence towards women
is ok – it focuses on changing attitudes early on with the
slogan "stop it at the start."
In the confronting opening scene of the TV ad, a young boy
deliberately slams the door in a girl's face. "You're
ok," the mum says to the girl. "He just did it cause he
The campaign provides snapshots of the boy as he grows,
depicting moments when his father says "don't throw like a
girl," where he takes a photo looking down a girl's top
without her permission, and then as an adult, fighting with his
"Violence against women starts with disrespect. The excuses
we make allow it to grow," the voiceover says as the adult man
becomes the boy standing over a frightened woman.
Minister for Social Services, the Hon Christian Porter,
said the campaign targeted how people "unknowingly excuse
and therefore perpetuate the behavior that can lead to
"Our research shows that too often, adults believe that
disrespectful or aggressive behaviour by young males towards young
females is something that should be understood rather than judged
and discouraged. Research shows adults often unwittingly excuse
objectively unacceptable behaviour with notions such as 'boys
will be boys'," he said.
The campaign seeks to positively influence attitudes before they
become entrenched and allow the behaviour to occur, and encourages
parents, family members, teachers, coaches, community leaders,
employers and other role models, to ensure that they are providing
and reinforcing appropriate attitudes.
View the video on the "Respect" campaign
website. Please note this website is temporarily inactive
due to the Government' being in caretaker mode.
Sect.117 can deal with false statements and knowingly making false allegations of violence could justify a costs order.
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