AWAVA recognises that violence against women and girls is one of the most serious and widespread violations of fundamental human rights. It can violate the rights to: life, equality and non-discrimination, rights not to be subjected to torture and treated in an inhuman and degrading way, rights to liberty and security, the highest standard attainable of physical and mental health, to respect, to physical, sexual and psychological integrity, and to just and favourable conditions of work.
CEDAW General Recommendation No 19 also states that Governments may be held responsible for private acts, such as domestic and family violence, if they fail to act with due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence and provide compensation.
AWAVA employs a feminist approach that understands violence against women and girls as both a consequence and cause of gender inequity, which is embedded deeply within all levels of our society. Violence is perpetrated through institutions and the public sphere as well as in the privacy of intimate relationships. Efforts to end violence against women and girls must challenge and transform patriarchal structures, be accountable to women and promote women’s empowerment and social and gender equality.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity
AWAVA is committed to representing and working respectfully with the diversity of women in Australia and prioritises collaborative approaches that draw on diverse knowledge. AWAVA recognises that the experience and impact of violence against women and girls is not evenly distributed and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, immigrant and refugee women, women with disabilities and LGBT women are subjected to interpersonal and public violence at greater than average rates, and that such violence is compounded by experiences of marginalisation.
Additional factors such as women’s location, age and access to income and resources also affect their experience of violence and its impact. AWAVA recognises that violence against women and girls needs to be understood in the context of sexism, racism, colonialism, classism, homophobia and able body-ism.