This week, AWAVA have been following up on the joint National Women’s Alliances Campaign ‘Priorities for Women‘. As part of AWAVA’s ‘Priorities for Women’ activities, we sent letters to all major parties asking them about their policies for addressing violence against women and girls; their views of the challenges; their commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their funding commitments. Please follow the link to read party responses.
Around the nation
- The Women’s Law Centre of WA and Relationships Australia embarked on a joint venture to establish a centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims of domestic and sexual violence
- RSPCA NSW continued to kick goals with its Safe Beds for Pets program that was established (in 2010) to provide temporary housing for pets of people seeking refuge from domestic violence and to address the link between animal and human abuse and child protection
- In Ballarat, community leaders threw their weight behind the “It’s Up To Us” campaign from the Courier Mail to educate, inform and explore community opinions on domestic violence
- In Victoria, police will establish two family violence units in Wodonga and Wangaratta. Both units will have a dedicated sergeant and two officers to work with the victims of family violence.
- A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that in the 6 month period from July to December 2012, more than 157,000 clients accessed specialist homelessness services and the “most common main reason given for seeking assistance was ‘domestic and family violence‘”.
Around the world
- In the US, Senator Claire McCaskill delivered a fiery but considered response to an alarming article in the Wall Street Journal falsely portraying feminsist analyses of sexual assault in the military as “histrionic” and “criminalising male sexuality”
- In Egypt, “human rights and women’s groups have condemned the “horrific levels” of sexual violence against women in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, with reports of 101 sex attacks amid the latest wave of protest”
- Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women and Assistant Secretary-General, writes that the struggle to end violence against women and girls requires “strong efforts by civil society organizations and the global women’s movement to remind both national governments and international organizations that words are not enough, that a few actions are not enough, that we must aim high and keep on moving forward”.
- Violence against women: a global health problem of epidemic proportions – The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently reported that more than one third of all women are affected by physical or sexual violence.
- Social media giant Facebook has announced that “it will no longer allow ads to appear on pages with sexual or violent content“. Advocacy campaign, Women Action and the Media report that “this new policy will protect advertisers, but do nothing for users“.
Publications and Resources
- AWAVA member organisation, The Association of Women Educators (AWE) have published a resource for teachers on sexuality education called “Everyone is Special”
- Legal Aid NSW have published a resource for people experiencing domestic and family violence
- In the UK, The Crown Prosecution Service has published “findings from a four-month research project on domestic violence cases where the victim refused to engage or withdrew from the criminal justice process. The research aimed to identify further information as to why victims refuse to engage with the prosecution process; current measures taken to try to involve victims in this process and address their safety; the most effective way to ensure a successful conviction; and further steps that could be taken to improve conviction outcomes and victim safety”
- UN Women Experts Roster– Please follow the link to register as an expert on gender issues and to register your interest in collaborating with UN women by taking part in evaluation assignments and thus contributing to “accountability and learning on UN Women’s mandate for gender equality and women’s empowerment”
**Articles published do not necessarily reflect the views of AWAVA and are included as items of interest only