Violence against anyone is unacceptable and looking at underlying causes of violence is important.
Evidence shows that key predictors of family violence and all forms of violence against women relate to how individuals, communities, and society as a whole view the roles of men, women, and gender diverse people. Some of the strongest predictors for holding attitudes that support violence at the individual level, are following traditional gender stereotypes and low levels of support for gender equality.
Gender inequality creates a society that allows disrespect, discrimination, and violence against women to occur. While violence against women in the form of murder, rape, sexual assault, or physical assault (top of the iceberg) is widely unaccepted, sexist comments and jokes and following rigid gender roles (bottom of iceberg) contribute to a society that allow disrespect to occur. If behaviours at the bottom of the iceberg are excused, we become part of the broader problem that can, in some instances, escalate to more severe forms of disrespect, discrimination, and abuse.1
Preventing violence before it starts
Violence against women is serious and widespread, but it is preventable.
We all have a role to play in preventing violence against women by examining our attitudes and behaviours, challenging unacceptable behaviour when we see or hear it, and treating each other with respect wherever we live, work, learn and play.
Yarra Ranges Council is committed to challenging the gendered factors which most consistently predict violence occurring in society, including:
- Condoning of violence against women
- Men’s control of decision making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life
- Rigid gender stereotyping and dominant forms of masculinity
- Male peer relations and cultures of masculinity that emphasise aggression, dominance and control.2
1 Gippsland Women’s Health https://makethelink.org.au/
2 Our Watch https://www.ourwatch.org.au/change-the-story/