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‘Coronavirus does not justify violence’: Our Watch launches updated ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ campaign

May 21, 2020 / Our Watch media team

In this article

Our Watch is today launching an updated campaign aimed at raising awareness of non-physical forms of violence following concerns about a rise in domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdown.

No Excuse for Abuse

Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly said the new-look No Excuse for Abuse campaign called on Australians to recognise that behaviours like verbal put-downs, controlling household spending, or checking a partner’s text messages were all forms of abuse. 

Violence against women is much more than just physical violence, yet overall, Australians are less likely to recognise these non-physical forms,” Ms. Kinnersly said.  

“While the Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a great deal of uncertainty, stress, social isolation, and financial pressures, these cannot be used as an excuse for abuse of any kind.”  

The campaign is aimed at men and women aged 18-44 and developed in light of a reported surge in Google searches for crisis support services for domestic violence as well as a need to educate the broader community about what different types of abuse look like.

Research from Our Watch has found that 1 in 2 Australians find it difficult to recognise non-physical abuse in a relationship, while data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 1 in 4 women have experienced at least one incident of non-physical abuse from a partner. 

We want the community to understand that non-physical forms of abuse are serious, inexcusable and preventable,” Ms. Kinnersly said. 

“The No Excuse for Abuse campaign will help people recognise that monitoring a partner’s online movements, checking their text messages, slinging out verbal put-downs, and controlling access to finances are behaviours that do not belong in an equal and respectful relationship.  

“They are unacceptable behaviours and there is no excuse for them, regardless of the stress or pressures people may be under during the pandemic.

The campaign covers six common types of non-physical abuse: 

  • Financial – controlling how a partner spends their money. 
  • Social – deciding who someone can and can’t talk to or spend time with. 
  • Emotional – verbal putdowns and jokes at a partners expense. 
  • Spiritual – disrespecting a partner’s religion or not letting them practice their religion. 
  • Technological – using technology like a phone to control, embarrass, or demean a partner. 
  • Stalking – harassing someone with unwanted contact.  

The short video clips, which feature young women and men describing abusive behaviour and attempting to excuse it, will be shown on TV and online.  

Watch the No Excuse for Abuse videos on the campaign website Our Watch has developed, which describes the different types of non-physical abuse in more detail. 

The No Excuse for Abuse campaign is an initiative of Our Watch and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Media contact

Saraya Musovic, Senior Media and Communications Advisor 
saraya.musovic@ourwatch.org.au or 0407 091 383

*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, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.  If you are worried about your behaviour, call Mensline on 1300 789 978 or visit mensline.org.au.” 

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit Media Making Changemedia.ourwatch.org.au 

About Our Watch

Our Watch is a national leader in Australia’s work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the practices, norms and structures that lead to violence against women and children. 

Find out more about our work to end violence against women in Australia.

The evidence
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