One in Three’s submission to Senate inquiry into domestic violence and gender inequality

April 26, 2016

The One in Three Campaign’s submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee’s inquiry into domestic violence and gender inequality has been published on the inquiry’s website.

You can download a PDF copy from here.

The submission makes the following arguments:

  1. A comprehensive literature review demonstrates the risk factors that contribute to the prevalence of domestic violence. Gender stereotypes and gender inequality are not present. Taxpayer resources would be better spent addressing the risk factors for domestic violence and exploring solutions that have been proven to make a real reduction in prevalence rates. 
  2. The picture of gender in Australia is not that either men or women fare better overall, but that each gender has its areas that need improvement. Governments need to work hard to ensure that all Australians, whether born male, female or intersex, have the opportunity to live happy, healthy, productive lives, and to fulfil their potential. 
  3. Research shows that the vast majority of relationships involve equal power between partners. Relationships in which one partner is dominant are in the minority, and are just as likely to be female-dominant as male-dominant. 
  4. By reducing the existing gender inequality in service provision for victims of domestic and family violence, as recommended by all major recent inquiries, governments will reduce the prevalence of domestic violence. 
  5. We are concerned that supporting a position that gender inequality contributes to the prevalence of domestic violence may overlook the fact that women are the greatest family violence risk to children, and is likely to prevent addressing of this issue to increase the safety of children. 
  6. Gender stereotypes about men (that they should be tough and strong) prevent many male victims from disclosing their abuse because of the challenges such disclosure brings to their sense of manhood. 
  7.  Existing attitudes by young people to both violence against women and violence against men need to be improved. Any campaigns targeting children and young people should be presented in a gender-neutral fashion with the aim of encouraging respectful relationships whether young people are male, female or intersex, straight or gay.

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