1. What is victim-blaming?

‘Victim-blaming’ is when we make the victim/survivor of violence responsible, instead of the violent person. Check out these resources to learn how to recognise and challenge victim-blaming:

How does it help?

Research shows that attitudes that justify, excuse or downplay violence against women make it more likely to happen. This includes blaming women for any violence they experience.

Victim-blaming focuses on what women were doing, or not doing. It fails to hold perpetrators responsible. It also makes it hard for women to report violence and seek help.

Keep going!

You can continue to challenge victim-blaming in your everyday life:

  • Never excuse, justify or minimise violence against women.
  • Challenge victim-blaming statements if you hear them.
  • Listen to and believe women if they disclose experiences of violence to you.
  • Let victims/survivors know it is never their fault.

Instead of asking, ‘Why does she stay if he’s violent?’ ask, ‘Why is he violent?’


Please note that these clips/articles contain information regarding the topics of sexism, gender inequality and violence against women. If you find the information distressing, please click through for information and support on self care. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please visit the our help section for further information and support.

2. What is unconscious gender bias. Why is it a problem?

Unconscious gender bias is unfair beliefs about a person because of their gender. Often, people are not aware of their own gender bias. It is ‘unconscious’ or automatic.

Read/watch two of the following examples of unconscious gender bias, and learn how to challenge it:

  • Watch this clip from ABC’s ‘The Drum’. It shows how the Tropfest film competition increased the number of women finalists.
  • Watch this clip in which a riddle reveals the unconscious gender biases of people on the street.
  • Read these articles written by colleagues Martin and Nicole. They swapped email signatures and noticed big differences in the way their colleagues and clients treated them.
  • Read this article about the experience of two women. They struggled to get their internet start-up business off the ground. This changed when they invented a male founder.

How does it help?

Unconscious gender bias can make it difficult for women to be involved in leadership and decision-making. Promoting women’s decision-making and independence is important for preventing violence against women.

Keep going!

Continue to take action to challenge unconscious gender bias:

  • Become aware of your own unconscious gender bias.
  • Call out gender bias when you notice it in your everyday life.
  • Suggest unconscious gender bias training for you and your colleagues.

Please note that these clips/articles contain information regarding the topics of sexism, gender inequality and violence against women. If you find the information distressing, please click through for information and support on self care. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please visit the our help section for further information and support.

3. What is the difference between gender equity and gender equality. What does this have to do with violence against women?

Many of us have heard the terms ‘gender equality’ and ‘gender equity’. But we may not know:

  • what these terms mean
  • the difference between them
  • how they relate to men’s violence against women.

‘Gender equality’ means equal outcomes for women, men and gender-diverse people. ‘Gender equity’ is the process to achieve gender equality.

Gender equity recognises that women and gender-diverse people are not in the same ‘starting position’ as men. This is because of historical and social disadvantages. Treating women, gender-diverse people and men equally might not actually be fair. In fact, it can create further disadvantage. Gender equity measures are often needed to level the playing field.

Violence against women is serious, widespread and driven by gender inequality.

  • Watch this clip from Gippsland Women’s Health and this clip from Our Watch. They discuss the link between gender inequality and men’s violence against women. They also talk about the actions we can take.
  • Take a look at this guide. It explains the link between gender inequality and violence against women. It also suggests practical ways to take action.

How does it help?

Many Australians support gender equality. But not so many understand how important gender equity is to achieve it. We now know that gender inequality is the main driver of men’s violence against women. Understanding this will help to prevent men’s violence against women. It also helps to share this understanding with others.

Keep going!

In late 2016, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins travelled Australia. She explored our progress towards gender equality. You can read about what she found, and her thoughts on how we can create more gender equality.

Find out more about gender inequality in Australia on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s web page.

Look at this infographic, which shows what gender equity looks like in everyday life.

 


Please note that these clips/articles contain information regarding the topics of sexism, gender inequality and violence against women. If you find the information distressing, please click through for information and support on self care. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please visit the our help section for further information and support.

4. Learn about sexual consent, gender and power

What’s wrong with this picture?

This picture is of a sailor kissing a nurse while celebrating the official end of World War II. This iconic image is now a 7.5-metre statue called Unconditional Surrender. The image is thought to be romantic and joyful. But this was not the experience of Greta Friedman, the woman in the picture. She said:

‘It wasn’t my choice to be kissed … The guy just came over and grabbed! … That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me … I did not see him approaching, and before I knew it, I was in this vice grip.’ You can read more here.

This shows how our culture often romanticises images and stories that are a problem in terms of gender, power and consent.

The #metoo and #timesup movements have created a lot of discussion about:

  • consent
  • how this relates to gender and power.

Adults and young people are responsible for understanding consent in their relationships and sex lives.

How does it help?

Sexual violence means sexual assault and/or threats. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found that almost one in five Australian women have experienced sexual violence from the age of 15.

Women risk sexual violence at home, in public and at work. Certain gender roles and stereotypes support unequal power between women and men. This includes the beliefs of some males that they have a right to:

  • sex with women
  • sexually dominate women
  • leave the responsibility for contraception to women.

Keep going!

  • Read about ‘enthusiastic consent’ before and during sex. Listen to this group of New York University students explore what this means to them.
  • Share information about healthy and respectful relationships with young people in your life. Here are some great places to start:

Please note that these clips/articles contain information regarding the topics of sexism, gender inequality and violence against women. If you find the information distressing, please click through for information and support on self care. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please visit the our help section for further information and support.