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​Preventing violence against women – what’s next?

June 22 2016 By Hannah Grant, Media and Ambassador Program Manager

The rigorous public discussion this week about the impact of sexist jokes and ‘bantering’ comments about drowning a prominent female journalist shows that Australia has come a long way in our understanding of the drivers of violence against women.

“There has been unprecedented public condemnation of those comments. Many people have stood up and spoken out against these vile jokes”, Our Watch Chief Executive Officer Mary Barry said today.

“Sport has an influence way beyond the field on which it is played, which is why Our Watch has signed an historic leadership statement with the leaders of the AFL, Australian Rugby Union, Netball Australia and the National Rugby League to prevent violence against women.

Ms Barry said she was disappointed that such sexist attitudes are still expressed but very encouraged to see so many people stand up and say ‘it’s not on’.

Our Watch has called on the Australian Football League (AFL) to hold a roundtable with all club presidents to discuss the commitment the league has made, better understand the links between sexism, inequality and violence against women, and consider the actions every club can take to change the story.

Ms Barry said, “An apology was the first step.  But it isn’t the end point. Now we want to see the AFL’s commitment to preventing violence against women turning into action – on the field, in the club rooms and in the board rooms”.

Ms Barry said she was confident that the AFL would make the roundtable summit happen before the end of the current season.

“Violence against women is no joke, and it’s up to all of us to stop it before it starts”, said Ms Barry.

Media contact

For enquiries or further information: Hannah Grant, Our Watch, mobile 0448 844 930, email Hannah.Grant@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.”

Access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children.

About Our Watch 

Our Watch’s (previously the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children) purpose is to raise awareness and engage the community in action to prevent violence against women and their children.
Our Watch was conceived of and brought into existence in 2013 by the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Victoria. The Northern Territory, South Australian, Tasmanian, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory governments have also since become members of the organisation.
Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and gives expression to many of the activities in the Second Action Plan 2013–2016 – Moving Ahead.