In Australia, most young people receive some sex education as part of their primary and secondary schooling, yet many students report that they do not gain sufficient knowledge and that the education they receive is not valuable in helping them deal with sex and develop respectful relationships. A new report by the Young Women’s Advisory Group (YWAG) of Equality Rights Alliance has found major gaps in sex education in Australia. YWAG’s Let’s Talk project was carried out by and for young women, and surveyed over 1000 respondents with the aim of addressing the issues in sex and sexuality education in the primary and secondary schools in Australia. Register to attend the Prevalent & Preventable conference (Adelaide 19-22 September) to hear YWAG members Romy Listo and Kate Robinson talk about their work and activism!
Around the Country
- The High Court of Australia has reinstated Gerard Baden-Clay’s original guilty verdict for murdering his wife, Allison, after the Court of Appeal downgraded his conviction to manslaughter.
- In Queensland, five courts will have two additional duty lawyers to provide free legal services to both aggrieved people and respondents in domestic violence cases.
- The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has launched an online resource to assist people experiencing divorce and separation manage their finances and make informed financial choices. A divorce and separation checklist as well as a stocktake calculator are available to guide users make informed decisions during this significant change in their lives.
- The Victorian Medical Women’s Society (VMWS) this week held an event discussing doctors’ roles in preventing, identifying and responding to family violence, following its collaboration with the Australian Federation of Medical Women (AFMW) which led to the publication of the “Happy Healthy Women, Not Just Survivors” report in 2010.
- Monash University research on the outcome of men’s behaviour change programs has found positive changes in the behaviour of perpetrators who participated in them, finding from a study of 300 participants that the number of men inflicting violence fell by half across all categories of abusive behaviour.
Around the World
- In Brazil, Maria da Penha has been honoured for her contribution on the 10-year anniversary of the domestic violence law that she helped to create. Penha was left paralysed after her husband’s abuse, and went on to become a powerful advocate, now calling for activists to work harder to ensure the implementation of the law.
- In Fiji, the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has taken steps to streamline the Elimination of Violence Against Women program to intensify advocacy and awareness programs in rural communities.
- In Vanuatu, French speaking women of Vanuatu, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna have gathered to discuss issues of domestic violence during a conference of the Union des Femmes d’Oceanie (UFO), a regional organisation created to allow French speaking women to participate in the discussion of issues affecting women within their respective countries.
- In Greece, increasing reports of sexual assault on children in refugee camps, where there are no educational and protection facilities or services, have caused alarm among several aid organisations including the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR).
- In Canada, a woman wearing a mask and clad in pearled bridal dress has been roaming the streets of Toronto with a pen and a notepad writing messages about the trauma of domestic abuse to raise awareness and provoke public dialogue and reaction.
Research and reports
- Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has produced new guidelines for practitioners working with people who have co-occurring sexual assault trauma and alcohol and other drug use issues.
- ANROWS’ summary of new research on violence against women and their children is online, including intimate partner violence and family therapy, justice for older women, family law in Australia, and a new book on domestic violence perpetrators.
- The School of Sciences and Psychology of Western Sydney University is holding a Symposium on Older Women and Violence: Innovative Policies, Programs and Practices to be held Wednesday 21st September 2016 at Western Sydney University, Parramatta South Campus, Building EE, Ground Floor, Rooms 02 and 36 – Corner James Ruse Drive & Victoria Road, Parramatta, from 9am to 4pm. Register here.
- Lucy’s Project is hosting the second annual conference on Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse-International Perspective to be held from 5-6 November at the Portside Conference Centre, level 5 Symantec House, 207 Kent St., Sydney. Book here.
- 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.
- 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 Australia 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.