16 Days in WA - Understanding what drives violence against women

November 27, 2018

Violence against women and their children is preventable and Australians no longer consider violence against women and their children a private issue. 

Fearful, abusive and controlling relationships are unhealthy for the whole family. People who are experiencing violence can get help. In an emergency the first place to seek assistance is by calling the police on 000. For support or to make a plan of action, talk to your health professional or call:
• Women’s domestic violence helpline on 1800 007 339
• Men’s domestic violence helpline on 1800 000 599

There is no single cause of violence against women and their children, however there are certain factors that consistently predict, or ‘drive’ the higher levels of violence against women. These factors include:
• Behaviours and beliefs reflecting disrespect for women;
• Low support for gender equality;
• Adherence to rigid or stereotypical gender roles; and
• Male peer relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women.

Research has found that factors associated with gender inequality are the most consistent predictors of violence against women. Individuals (both men and women) who do not believe that that men and women are equal, or see them as having specific roles or characteristics are more likely to condone, tolerate or excuse violence against women. 

What can people do to help?
• Challenge the condoning of violence against women.
• Promote women’s independence and decision-making in public life and relationships.
• Foster positive personal identities and challenge gender stereotypes and roles.
• Strengthen positive, equal and respectful relations between and among women and men, girls and boys.
• Promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life.