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Domestic and Family Violence

Actions to Prevent Violence Against Women

ALL OF US can take actions to prevent violence against women 


Take a Stand Campaign

City of Parramatta is proud to support the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence in 2021. As part of this global campaign, Council will be promoting actions to support gender equality, and the prevention and ending of violence against women—including domestic and family violence. This campaign will launch across all of Council’s social media channels from 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until run until 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

Join us in taking a stand for gender equality in our everyday lives. We have listed below some of the most important topics on advancing gender equality. Share this information with your family and friends to promote a fairer, safer and more inclusive home and workplace.

Take a Stand and Share the Care

Gender equality begins at home. For men, there is often a lot of pressure to be the main breadwinner which sometimes means they are not able to be as involved as they like. Many women often come under multiple pressures to work, look after the house and take care of the children. 

But men can ‘share the care’ too. By fathers getting involved in parenting and sharing responsibilities they can promote gender equality and become positive role models for their families and communities.

  • Current research shows women still do most of the work in the home.

    • Australian women do 90% of child-care tasks and 70% of all work in the family home.
    • Even where work in the house is shared more equally, the amount of work in the home done by women increases considerably after the arrival of children. This is the case even where both partners work full-time.
    • Women continue to do 62% of work in the home even ten years after the arrival of a first child.
    • Nearly 70% of Australian mothers report frequently feeling always time pressured compared to just 55% of fathers.
  • Fathers can get involved in shared parenting by:

    • Discussing housework with your partner and make sure you do your share.
    • Working together as a team and share all the tasks including housework.
    • Spending time alone with your children.
    • Not expecting your partner to do any extra work. 
Take a Stand for Women’s Leadership

When we support women in the workplace and as leaders and decision-makers, the community and economy benefit. Being able to see more women in leadership roles promotes gender equality and produces stronger institutions.

  • There are barriers to women's career progression and securing leadership roles at work, including:

    • Old Stereotypes - Traditional ideas of ‘leadership qualities’ are linked to being masculine and often not viewed as favorably when displayed by women.
       
    • Connections - Career success still relies heavily on making connections, and most established networks within institutions are still dominated by men. Women are left with less avenues to learn about opportunities and find mentors and sponsors to champion their advancement.
       
    • Bias and discrimination - Sexual harassment, hostile work environments and subtle biases remain significant obstacles to women in the workplace. Women of colour face additional challenges to their advancement, making them even less likely to move into leadership roles.
       
    • Lack of work flexibility - Balancing work and family can be a challenge that limits women from seeking leadership roles. Most workplace policies and systems assume traditional ideas of male and female domestic roles.
    • Amplify the voices of your female colleagues and back them up when they raise issues of concern.
       
    • Take a lead in promoting women to leadership positions and raise your voice to make workplace culture and processes more accessible and equitable; and 
       
    • Identify and address your own biases to help you be more impartial and make better decisions.
Take a Stand against sexist jokes

Sexist jokes and humour are those that target individuals, insult, stereotype, victimise, and/or objectify a person based on their gender. These jokes are not just ‘a bit of fun’, they have serious consequences. Accepting sexist humour in a workplace has been shown to increase tolerance for sexual harassment. By staying silent we are indirectly endorsing it and we become part of the problem.

    • Sexually suggestive comments and jokes are the most common form of sexual harassment experienced by Australian women in the workplace.
    • Women are most likely to experience sexually suggestive comments or jokes and intrusive questions about their private life or physical appearance.
    • This behaviour is damaging and can lead to further, more serious instances of disrespect and unequal treatment of women.

     

  • Research shows there are clear actions we can all take to take a stand against sexist humour.

    You can:

    • Show it's not OK

    Next time, use body language to show your disapproval:

    • Roll your eyes
    • Shake your head
    • Don’t laugh along
    • Walk away
    • Stand between the person being disrespectful and the woman
    • Support women

    Next time, support women and other people doing something:

    • Ask if she’s OK – in person or in a message
    • Acknowledge what happened: ‘Hey, I’m sorry. That wasn’t cool’
    • Back up people doing something
    • Support women who report sexism and disrespect to HR or social media platforms
    • Speak up

    Next time, speak up about disrespectful behaviour:

    • Speak up when women are interrupted: ‘We didn’t hear her point; can we circle back?’
    • Question sexist jokes: ‘I don’t get what’s funny?’
    • Focus on the behaviour: ‘That comment was out of line’
    • Purposely change the topic: ‘Seriously? Let’s move on’
    • Make a joke: ‘C’mon, aren’t we better than that?’
    • Ask them to stop: ‘Alright, that’s enough’.


Actions to Prevent Violence Against Women

Both women and men can be victims of domestic and family violence but women are much more likely to be the victims. Women are also far more likely to be victims of sexual assault.

There are many different services and organisations that work to support women- and their children- who have survived violence. These services are critical and it is important that the workers in these services have specialist training.

However, when we look at preventing violence against women and their children, we know that  ALL OF US can do something: Australia is one of the few places in the world that has a national shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children: Change the Story has been developed by Our Watch, VicHealth and ANROWS.

You can find more information including the detailed framework at Our Watch


Change The Story

Change the Story identifies that the main driver of violence against women is 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 relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women

Change the Story also identifies factors that reinforce violence against women, increasing the frequency or severity of this violence. These factors are:

  • Condoning of violence generally
  • Experience of, and exposure to, violence
  • Weakening of pro-social behaviour, especially harmful use of alcohol
  • Socio-economic inequality and discrimination
  • Backlash factors – increases in violence when male dominance, power or status is challenged

Actions to prevent violence against women

Change the Story also describes actions that ALL OF US; governments, organisations and individual, can take action to prevent violence against women. 

  • Foster positive personal identities of children, young people or adults, and challenge gender stereotypes and roles
  • Strengthen positive, equal and respectful relationships between and among women and men, girls and boys
  • Promote women’s independence and decision-making in public life and relationships
  • Challenge the condoning or normalisation of violence against women 
  • Promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life

Actions can be taken where people live, work, learn and socialise and they need to be tailored to the needs and situations of different groups.