Advocacy on structural and systemic discrimination
Gender inequality, ageism, ableism, homophobia, racism and the ongoing impacts of colonialism and dispossession: like a torch in the dark, COVID-19 has shone a light on the inequality and discrimination that drives family violence and violence against women. Now is the time to send a message to government, industry, organisations and communities: we need to “build back better.” To support your advocacy in creating a more equal and safer Victoria, Respect Victoria has prepared the actions decision-makers can take to address discrimination and inequality under COVID-19.
Guiding principles for primary prevention of family violence and violence against women in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed how we live. The disruption of restrictions and physical distancing has put real pressure on families. Tragically, we’ve seen a surge in demand on family violence response services during this crisis.
Violence doesn’t happen because we’re staying home, however. Family violence and violence against women are driven by inequality, discrimination and marginalisation. Now more than ever, we need to sharpen our focus on stopping violence before it starts. Primary prevention is the only way to reduce the prevalence of violence and demand on response services.
Respect Victoria and colleagues in the family violence prevention and response sectors have developed six guiding principles to help maintain this focus. These principles will ensure consistency in primary prevention efforts during the pandemic. They will help prepare our work for future disasters. They will inform how we "build back better" communities in recovery.
We call on all organisations working to prevent violence to embrace and uphold the following guiding principles in both the crisis and recovery phases of the pandemic:
Strengthen primary prevention focus across whole of family violence reform effort.
Build understanding of the impact of intersecting forms of discrimination and disadvantage into all our prevention efforts.
Uphold the importance of independence and decision-making in public and private life.
Challenge rigid gender roles, advance gender equality and advocate for respectful gender relationships.
Engage men to adopt and maintain respectful and non-aggressive behaviours and peer relations.
Challenge attitudes that condone violence through association with external stressors.