Posts tagged violence against women
The Inquiry into the Family Law System is a poorly disguised trojan horse

In response to the inquiry announced this week into Australia’s Family Law System, the team at the Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand has pulled together some of the concerns expressed by advocates for women’s and children’s safety.

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Men’s behaviour change programs: good news and lessons from the Pacific

A ground-breaking faith-based program in the Pacific seems to be having significant, and hopefully longer-term, impacts on men’s violence and abuse, with several important lessons for similar programs elsewhere, writes Miranda Forsyth, ANU Pacific Institute Convener and Associate Professor at ANU’s School of Regulation and Global Governance.   

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The mental health impacts of sexualisation, family violence and assault

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System provides an opportunity to consider the social and economic factors that contribute to poor mental health using a gender lens. Today’s analysis, by Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) and Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (@GoodAdvocacy), provides an overview of how rigid gender stereotyping creates a cascade effect of experiences that compromise women’s and girls’ mental health. This is the fourth in a 4-part series based on Good Shepherd’s submission; Part 1 provides an overview of the gendered nature of mental health, Part 2 discusses the related issue of economic inequality, and Part 3 examines the influence of financial hardship.

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As safe as houses? Comparing Liberal and Labor platforms on women’s safety

With the federal election campaign in its final days, people are heading to polling booths to vote in Australia’s next government. In today’s federal election series, Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@susanmaury) and Laura Vidal (@lauraemilyvidal), both of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, break down the Government and Australian Labor Party’s policies for improving women’s safety, providing both a comparison between the platforms and commentary on how the plans fall short. Today’s piece on women’s safety is the second in a two-part series from the @GoodAdvocacy team. You can read Part 1 on economic security here.

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New study finds family violence is often poorly understood in faith communities

While the Liberal Party has promised significant investment into combating domestic and family violence, one line item has raised concern: $10 million set aside for couples counselling. In today’s election platform analysis, Mandy Truong, Bianca Calabria, Mienah Zulfacar Sharif and Naomi Priest share new research into how religious institutions tend to respond to instances of domestic and family violence, and what should be done to make faith communities more effective in supporting individuals and families. This piece originally appeared in The Conversation.

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Why is the Coalition funding couples counselling in instances of domestic and family violence?

Hidden away amongst supplemental papers to the recently-released Coalition budget papers is a line item for $10 million earmarked to support counselling for families experiencing domestic violence. In today’s election platform analysis, Hayley Foster (@HayleyFoster82) of Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service NSW (@wdvcasnsw) explains why this funding goes against both the evidence base and the recommendations from the domestic and family violence service sector. This piece is adapted from a media statement that WDVCAS NSW recently released, which can be viewed here.

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Protecting Young Women from Workplace Sexual Harassment

The National Inquiry into Workplace Sexual Harassment has provided a much-needed opportunity to discuss the prevalence and impacts of sexual harassment in the workplace. The Equality Rights Alliance (ERA) and Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change Young Women’s Advisory Groups (YWAGs) contributed to this national conversation through a joint submission. In today’s analysis, Lavanya Kala (@lav_k) of Harmony YWAG (and Hannah Gissane (@HannahGissane) of ERA explain why it’s critical to centre the experiences of young women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds when formulating effective responses to workplace sexual harassment.

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Dowry abuse: it's a growing problem in Australia, but new laws aren't the answer

Recently the Inquiry into The Practice of Dowry and the Incidence of Dowry Abuse in Australia published its final report. While forms of dowry are practiced in many countries and cultural contexts, it is unknown how wide-spread the practice is within Australia. Of particular concern is the ways that it can intersect with domestic and family violence, and with economic abuse in particular. In today’s post, Marie Segrave (@MSegrave) of Monash University and Laura Vidal (@LauraEmilyVidal) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and Monash University provide context for an effective response.

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Islamophobia: The elephant in the research

Research on marginalised communities has a history of being weaponised against those very communities, marginalising them even further. This weaponisation, and the fear of it, can silence discussion on important social issues. Here, Sandra Elhelw Wright reflects on how this plays out in the context of research on domestic violence in Australian Muslim communities. 

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Start of change: Mapping engagement with male perpetrators of violence

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand’s Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy Centre recently released the report of a Practice Inquiry into intake and assessment practices within Men’s Behaviour Change Programs across two regions in Victoria. Report co-authors Yvonne Lay and Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) provide a summary of findings in today’s analysis.

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We can’t dismantle systems of violence unless we centre Aboriginal women

To mark this year’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, The Action Tank has topped and tailed the campaign with policy analyses that focus on groups who have not been well-served by ‘mainstream’ feminist activism in the domestic violence space. (You can see the analysis on the importance of addressing the specific needs of the LGBTIQ community here.) In today’s post, Darumbul woman and journalist Amy McQuire (@AmyMcQuire) explains the need to listen to and understand the unique experiences of violence that effect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and particularly how they are nestled within an inherently racist and violent system. This piece originally appeared at IndigenousX and is reprinted with permission.

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It's been an incredibly tough week

Melbourne was in shock following the rape and murder of well-loved comedian Eurydice Dixon on the 12 June 2018 as she was walking home from a comedy event. A vigil was held near where Eurydice Dixon died in Princess Park the following week and was attended by the over 10,000 people. Following the vigil, Julie Kun, CEO of WIRE (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc), wrote the following article, posted on WIRE’s Facebook page and reposted with permission here.

Julie Kun is the CEO of WIRE, the only Victoria-wide free generalist information, support and referral service run by women for women.

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Beyond NAIDOC 2018: Our Responsibility to Celebrate the Voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women

The theme for this year's NAIDOC Week, held from 8-15 July 2018, was "Because of her, we can". In the following article, republished from IndigenousX with permission, Antoniette Braybrook calls for the ongoing celebration and acknowledgment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, who work tirelessly for the community, and whose views and experiences are often invisible to policy-makers. Antoinette Braybrook is the CEO of Djirra (formerly the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria) and the National Convenor of the National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum. She also tweets @BraybrookA

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Women, welfare, and a policy of economic abuse

The increasingly punitive welfare policies of the Coalition government have been explored from a range of angles here, but today’s post provides a framework for understanding them. Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand suggests that government welfare policies fit the definition for economic abuse.

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Navigating the path to financial security: Restoring safety for family violence victim/survivors

A new model of service delivery developed by WEstjustice in partnership with McAuley Community Services for Women is improving the financial security of family violence victim/survivors. In this post Stephanie Tonkin of WEstjustice discusses the extraordinary results being achieved through the Restoring Financial Safety project and recommendations for future policy action.

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Women and children being left behind in Australia's mental health priorities

There are high levels of awareness in Australia concerning the importance of men’s mental health. However, in today’s post Sarah Squire, recently appointed as the head of the Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, argues that this is coming at the expense of awareness and investment in women’s mental health. There are specific gendered differences when it comes to addressing mental health needs, and the absence of women and girls within national mental health policy is deeply concerning.  

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Australia’s response to early and forced marriage: Better, but still lacking

In today’s post, Laura Vidal, who recently joined Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, discusses best practice solutions to early and forced marriage, particularly in light of recent Australia policy changes. Due to her work in both service delivery and policy responses to individuals who have experienced human trafficking and slavery, Laura received a 2017 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, which took her on a study tour to 6 countries (Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Denmark, United States, Canada and Kenya) to inform responses to early and forced marriage.

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How the ‘child penalty’ matters for domestic and family violence (and what we can do about it)

The ‘gender pay gap’ is a major contributor to conditions that enable and perpetuate domestic and family violence. That women on average earn much less than men increases their vulnerability to financial abuse, makes it difficult for them to leave violent relationships, and leaves them much worse off financially if they do leave. Recent research suggests that it’s the ‘child penalty’ more than anything else that is currently driving the pay gap. ANZSOG Research Fellow Sophie Yates (@MsSophieRae), who is completing a PhD on gender and domestic and family violence, reflects on the importance of changing our expectations about who will take care of children if we want to significantly reduce family violence.

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Taking Stalking Seriously

Stalking as a phenomenon has been noted in human behaviour for well over a century.  References to obsessive behaviour and the need to retain intimacy with another person can be seen in the writing of Victorian author, Louise May Alcott, who wrote Little Women. In her novel, A Long Fatal Love Chase, a woman is chased across the seas for years by her estranged husband, until he mistakenly kills her whilst trying to murder her new partner. Holding her dead body in his arms, the ‘stalker’ then kills himself and as he does so he says “Mine first - mine last – mine even in the grave!” This obsession to the point of murder is not a sensational, fictitious idea but a behaviour which is worryingly still prevalent within our society in 2017. In this blog post Victoria Charleston, Policy Officer at Suzy Lamplugh Trust explores stalking and potential implications for policy.

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Refugee women on Nauru: The gendered effects of Australia's asylum seeker detention policies

Perhaps nobody is more deplorably served by Australian policy than asylum seekers. In today's post, Azadeh Dastyari ( @azdastyari ) of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University, explains how women held in detention in Nauru face very specific physical and mental harm due to their gender. This blog first appeared on Themis Says: The Blog of the Feminist Legal Studies Group at Monash ( @feminist_law ).   NOTE: This blog post contains references to sexual and physical assault that may be distressing to some readers. 

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