The ‘Nauru files’, a compilation of reports by guards, caseworkers and teachers as well as accounts of victims/survivors, has documented the magnitude of abuses inflicted on asylum seekers held in the Nauru detention centre, including sexual and other forms of violence against women and children. [Warning: these files contain details that may distress readers.] Asylum seekers held in offshore detention are unable to access the services and legal assistance that people in Australia may be able to use, and are not included in framework policies like the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. At our conference next month with Our Watch, one of the questions we will be asking is how we define violence against women, and how those definitions shape efforts to prevent violence against disenfranchised groups such as women with disability, women in prison and women in offshore detention. To contribute to this important discussion, you can attend the conference, email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or both!
Around the Country
- An online pornography ring has been uncovered in which teen boys and young men trade sexual images of girls and women at more than 70 Australian schools, with the images organised by region so that users can view photographs of girls and women they might know in real life. [Warning: this article contains distressing material.]
- The finalists in the 2016 Our Watch Awards for exemplary reporting to end violence against women have been announced. Administered by Walkley Foundation, this award recognises reporting in different media category and formats, including social media and long form journalism.
- 1800RESPECT is this week beginning to use its new First Response model, which is designed to respond to increased call volume. Concerns have focused on whether the triage model can appropriately deliver expert trauma counselling and avoid the need for callers to navigate an additional layer of service, while 1800RESPECT has committed to continuing a high-quality service.
- On the Gold Coast, the Women’s Legal Service and the Gold Coast Community Legal Centre (GCCLC), with funding from the Federal Government, are establishing a specialised unit to address demands for legal and paralegal services from women dealing with issues of domestic and family violence.
- In New South Wales, women’s advocates have proposed to set up clinics within health centres to identify and support women who may not actively seek out help to escape domestic and family violence.
- In Queensland, the State’s first 24 hour sexual assault response unit has begun operating. The unit is composed of social workers and police officers trained in trauma interviewing and handling sexual crimes.
- The annual report released by New South Wales Domestic Violence Death Review Team has found that the use of victim blaming language in judicial proceedings minimises perpetrator accountability for violent behaviours.
Around the World
- In Peru, an unprecedented gathering of more than 50,000 people to protest against the country’s judicial system’s indifference over gender violence has taken place in the capital over the weekend.
- In Pakistan, young feminist writer Fatima Munir has argued that addressing the root causes of violence against women will require more than just passing laws.
- In Kathmandu, the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers have released Standard Operating Procedure 2068 on Gender Based Violence Case Management, to promote human rights and victim/survivor-centred responses to gender based violence.
- In Kenya, Wanjohi Kibicho has examined the root cause of gender inequality and violence against African women, following an assault by musician Koffi Olomide, after which he was deported..
- The Australian Women’s Health Network is asking for supporters to make some noise and save women’s health! Join the campaign here.
- Women’s Legal Service Victoria is holding an interactive workshop on Children and the Law on 15 September at Level 50 Bourke Place, 600 Bourke St, Melbourne. Click here to book.
- The University of Melbourne has created a website called ‘NotTheOnlyOne’ where women can anonymously read and share stories about experiencing family and domestic violence.
- Tickets are still on sale for the Fearless Comedy Gala – Comedians Against Family Violence. Some of Australia’s top comedians will unite in Canberra on 18 August to make a stand against family violence in our community. All proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT. More information available here.
- The National Multicultural Women’s Conference will be held on 3 and 4 November 2016 in Parkroyal Parramatta, Sydney. Find out more here.
- 1800RESPECT, the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counselling Service is holding a webinar to give front-line workers an understanding of technology facilitated abuse and knowledge on how to support women with practical advice and tools to increase their safety when using digital technology and online media. The 45 minute webinar will be held on 15 September from 1pm AEST. The presenter is Karen Bentley, National Director SafetyNet Australia, WESNET. Register here.
- Soroptomist International is sponsoring the Rosie Batty Roadshow from 5 October to 7 November 2016, travelling from Brisbane to Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne and Adelaide. Proceeds will go to the Women’s Legal Services in each capital that Rosie will visit. To buy your tickets click here.