Why getting involved in the 16 Days of Activism matters

Violence against women is preventable. Your action can help change the culture that allows it.

We know that sometimes it can feel hard to stay optimistic about preventing violence against women. We get it. Especially at times like this. 

Sometimes it’s when you check the news and learn about another Australian woman who has been allegedly killed by a man she knew.  

Sometimes it’s when you’re met with backlash and resistance.  

Sometimes it’s when there’s heartbreaking and complex things happening across the world, and it's hard to care about everything at once.  

But we also know that violence is not inevitable. It is preventable.  

We know prevention is a community effort, and we know that together we can reshape our society in a way that does not tolerate, condone or drive violence against women.  

That’s why it’s important to start – and continue – the conversation about mutual respect in your community.  

And that’s why it’s important to make your 16 Days of Activism activities meaningful to the communities and organisations you work with. Here’s how.

Creating a meaningful 16 Days of Activism  

Here’s three things to think about when planning your activities:  

1. Be an ally. Listen and learn.  

Everyone deserves to be safe, equal and respected. But not all people are the same – and neither are their experience of violence or access to services and supports.  

Intersecting forms of oppression, discrimination, power and privilege impact the prevalence and dynamics of violence against women.  

To help prevent violence against all women, your 16 Days of Activism events should consider how the gendered drivers of men’s violence against women intersect with other forms of injustice and discrimination.  

You can do this by elevating and centring the voices of women and those who experience these forms of discrimination in your communications, events and activities.

2. Make the link with masculinities and health to engage men and boys

We all face unfair assumptions and treatment based on gender. Men are often told to be tough and in control, the primary earner and the secondary parent. Not only can these attitudes drive violence against women and all people - they also negatively impact the health and wellbeing of men and boys.  

Your campaign can build men’s and boys’ awareness of these negative impacts and encourage them to challenge harmful masculine stereotypes to prevent violence against women.  

While engaging men and boys is critical to progressing prevention work, be careful not to sideline women’s voices and concerns. Maintaining accountability is key.

3. Appeal to people’s values and best selves

Values-based messaging appeals to people’s core values and principles to create change. Try using a vision-barrier-solution approach to strengthen the impact and reach of your 16 Days of Activism messages like this one:

Vision: All women deserve to be safe, equal and respected.  

Barrier: But on average, a woman in Australia is killed by a man they know every 10 days.  

Solution: It doesn’t have to be this way. Violence against women can be prevented. This 16 Days of Activism and beyond, let’s change the story and create a future where we are all safe, equal and respected. Here’s how you can join the campaign...

Want more tips for getting involved in the 16 Days of Activism 2023?

For more resources and information about running prevention activities in your community, download the 16 Days of Activism 2023 Toolkit.  

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