16 Days of Activism 2022 – Respect Women: ‘Call It Out’ (Respect Is)

Respect is the building block of all healthy relationships.
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Why is this campaign important?

Choosing to lead with respect in our relationships, workplaces, schools, universities, and homes can ultimately prevent family violence and violence against women. 

The 'Respect Is' campaign showcases messages of respect, support and equality and will feature stories and messages from everyday Victorians who are creating change in their communities.  

As part of the 16 Days of Activism, we are asking you to join us in taking three simple steps towards a future where we are all safe, equal and respected. 

How can you get involved?

  1. Join the Walk Against Family Violence on Friday 25 November to take a stand on preventing violence against women - register via the Safe Steps WAFV website.  

  2. Join an event near you. There are over 60 events taking place right across Victoria. Explore the events calendar on Safe and Equal’s website.  

  3. Share our Stories of Respect messages. Throughout the 16 Days we’ll be releasing stories from everyday Victorians who are taking steps towards equality in their communities. Find them on Respect Victoria's Instagram and Facebook.

Interested in more practical tips on calling out discrimination and disrespect? Head to the end of this page.

You can also:    

  • Pick up a pair or two of 'Respect Women' earrings - created by Haus of Dizzy in collaboration with Respect Victoria, browse the design at the Haus of Dizzy website. 
  • Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and share our posts throughout the 16 Days of Activism. Stay tuned for some incredible stories and messages. 
  • If you're part of an organisation, company or group who wants to create change together - explore additional resources on Safe and Equal’s website.

Useful resources

Practical tips for calling out discrimination

Disrespect can play out in our homes, workplaces, schools, communities and in the places we socialise. By calling out disrespect, sexism and other forms of discrimination early, we can stop violence before it starts. 

There is no 'right' way to call it out, but we do have a few tips you might want to try. Don't forget to put your own safety first - if a situation is already violent or looks like it could turn that way, always call triple 000. 

To get you started, here are 16 ways you can call out sexism and disrespect:

1. Don't laugh at sexist jokes. 

2. Give a disapproving look to show a behaviour or statement is not okay. Shake your head or roll your eyes. 

3. Leave a pointed and uncomfortable silence 

4. Make a light hearted comment: "What century are you living in?" 

5. Check in with the person affected: "I heard what he just said - are you okay?" 

6. Privately let them know their behaviour is not okay: "The joke you made in yesterday's meeting was not funny, and actually not okay." 

7. Calmly disagree and state that the comment is wrong or unacceptable: "I know you probably didn't mean it, but I found what you said to be offensive." 

8. Speak up and educate by explaining why you disagree: "Actually evidence shows the vast majority of women do not make up false claims of sexual assault." 

9. Challenge the logic: "That's not my experience" or "What makes you think that?” 

10. Stand up for the person affected: "Michelle was saying something, and you cut her off again." 

11. Make eye contact with the person affected - let them know you're an ally. 

12. Show your emotion: "It actually makes me sad / uncomfortable when you say that." 

13. Support others when they call it out: "I agree, that's not funny." 

14. Appeal to their better self: "Come on, you're better than that." 

15. Report the behaviour to management, or via incident reporting systems if available. 

16 Disrupt or distract the situation to redirect the focus from the incident to someone else.

Interested in more tips, or ideas on participating in the 16 Days of Activism? Take a look at further resources on the Safe and Equal website.

What does the data tell us? 

Gender inequality is one of the primary drivers of gender-based violence and family violence. We also know that other intersecting forms of discrimination - including racism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, and colonialism - are drivers of violence.

In Australia right now, the stats show that: 

  • 1 in 4 women have experienced violence by an intimate partner since the age of 15
  • Nearly 2 in 5 women with disabilities have experienced violence from a partner, ex-partner or family member
  • 1 in 3 LGBTIQ+ people have experienced violence from a partner, ex-partner or family member
  • 1 in 3 migrant and refugee women living in Australia have experienced family violence
  • 95% of all victims of violence, regardless of gender, experience violence from a male perpetrator

The 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS) found that 40% of people believe that women exaggerate when they talk about inequality.

We can all play a role in preventing gender-based violence in all its forms - so join us with leading with respect, and calling out discrimination. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Easy English

To learn more about this campaign, please download the Easy English resource listed below.

Respect Women Call It Out Easy English

Multicultural resources

Support pathways

If you are experiencing family violence, concerned for your safety, or in an emergency situation please call 000 for urgent police assistance. For a comprehensive list of recommended specialists support organisations refer to the contact us section of Respect Victoria's website.