27 April 2016

‘He just did it ’cause he likes you’: Government takes on domestic violence

Author :

Look around your office. Do you have four female colleagues? One of them will be the victim of domestic violence.

According to Safe Horizon, around 25% of women will experience domestic or family violence in their lifetime. This number drops for men with one in six experiencing domestic violence, but it is still too high.

The Coalition government’s new ad campaign began on Sunday: a one minute montage featuring increasingly confronting scenarios of domestic violence.

A young boy slams a door in front of a little girl which causes her to fall over. The mother chastises her daughter, “He just did it ‘cause he likes you.”

A teenage boy at a party takes a down-blouse photo of a young woman as she bends over to pick something up.

A husband backs his wife into a room, slamming doors and yelling, before becoming the young boy who began the disturbing sequence.

“Let’s stop it at the start,” the final line reads. It’s a simple yet poignant message designed to inspire change in parents, teachers and coaches to dispel disrespectful or aggressive behaviour in young men before they become serial offenders.

In an article on the Sydney Morning Herald, Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said that excuses like, "it's just boys being boys" had to stop. 

The $30 million campaign comes a few months after Turnbull announced $100 million in federal government funding to tackle the issue. Domestic violence campaigner Fair Agenda described Turnbull’s announcement as "a good start but they're not enough".

Turnbull’s funds pale in comparison to Victorian Government’s, which dedicated $572m to the cause just last month. This funding will be broken up into housing to shelter more victims, a program to support children in violent homes, family violence services, working with Aboriginal communities and reforming the justice system to protect victims.

Whilst the nation has a long journey ahead to being rid of domestic and family violence, there are four ways you can be part of the change. According to Find Law, these are the steps you can take:

  • Call the police if you see or hear something
  • Speak out against domestic violence- let people know you don’t find jokes about beating your spouse amusing
  • Maintain a respectful relationship as a model for your children
  • Be part of your neighbourhood watch program (or start one yourself)

As Rachel Caine says in Fall of Night, “Don’t play his game. Play yours.”

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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