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National Women’s Safety Summit: We can prevent violence from happening in the first place

September 3, 2021 / Our Watch media

Early next week Our Watch, a national leader in the prevention of violencewill be contributing to the National Summit on Women’s Safety as part of the National Plan Advisory Group.  

People working together
Our Watch would like the Second National Plan to prioritise the prevention of violence against women, alongside early intervention and response strategies.

Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly said that after thousands took to the streets to March 4 Justice it was clear that the Australian public wanted this issue to be treated as an urgent national priority at the summit which will be held on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 of September. 

“The national summit will inform the next actions needed for the second National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women. 

“This summit comes after the catchcry of Australians who marched this year, and to the many individual women who have spoken out about their experiences of violence.  

“We are seeing a groundswell of public concern, we have been inundated with workplaces, sporting groups, schools and universities, and journalists wanting to do more. 

“The summit is a chance to show how these important conversations can be translated into stronger action,” Ms Kinnersly said. 

The summit will be covering a range of topics such as sexual violence, workplace sexual harassment, and financial abuse and Ms Kinnersly said all these discussions will be crucial for informing the shape of the second National plan. 

Ms Kinnersly said that Our Watch would like the second National Plan to prioritise prevention alongside early intervention and response strategies. 

“We need dedicated strategies, commitment, and long-term funding for primary prevention work, to help increase the prevention workforce and build the capacity of skilled primary prevention workers across the country,” Ms Kinnersly said. 

“We are also calling for the prevention components of the National Plan to be clearly aligned with Change the story as the national prevention framework, to ensure that it is informed by international best practice, research and evidence and that it addresses the known drivers of gendered violence 

“The plan needs to ensure that schools, workplaces, universities, TAFEs, sporting clubs, media and community groups who want to do prevention work – and those who already are – are able to have support and be connected to the evidence and resources that they need. 

“It’s also vital that The Plan addresses all forms of violence against women – physical, sexual, financial and coercive control, and that it addresses violence that occurs in all contexts, from relationships to workplaces, to public placesAnd it must include strategies that will prevent violence against all women.” 

Ms Kinnersly said this means also looking at how other forms of discrimination intersect with gender inequality such as racism, ageism, colonisation, homophobia, and transphobia. She also said that there needs to be a greater focus on working with men and boys. 

“We need to move beyond only working with men as perpetrators. To prevent men from using violence in the first place, we need to support them to challenge harmful forms of masculinity as well as challenge attitudes, behaviours and structures that support or condone men’s use of violence against women.” 

“All women have a right to be safe in their homes, workplaces, and in public, that is a fundamental human right. To achieve this, we need ongoing commitments from all governments, workplaces, education facilities, sporting organisations, and the media to address the drivers of violence against women, and to put the promotion of gender equality at the heart of their work.”

Media contact

Shannon McKeogh, Senior Media and Communications Advisor (shannon.mckeogh@ourwatch.org.au or 0412 612 039) or media@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, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.” 

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit Media Making Change. 

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.