The Royal Commission into Family Violence exposed an uncomfortable truth. We now know that the overwhelming majority of victims of family violence are women.
If we are serious about addressing violence against women and children, Victoria also has to get serious about gender inequality. It’s time that the attitudes and behaviours making violence against women acceptable are challenged and changed. Because our failure to address them will have serious consequences for our state.
Gender inequalities persist in almost every aspect of a woman’s life, from childhood, through adolescence, when she enters the workforce, starts a family, and in retirement.
We also know that gender inequality is central to the discrimination faced by trans, gender diverse and intersex people, who have higher rates of poor mental health and suicide as a result of gender exclusion and violence.
And we can see the impacts of gender inequality on men: from poor mental health to violent behaviour, conforming to narrow ideas about what it means to 'be a man' has severe consequences for men, their partners and families, and society.
Gender equality is critical: not only to preventing violence against women, but to deliver the social and economic benefits that will result when all Victorians live in a safe and equal society, have access to equal power, resources and opportunities, and be treated with dignity, respect and fairness.
Safe and Strong
There is an urgent need for national leadership on gender equality. And Victoria is prepared to step up.
Safe and Strong is Victoria's first Gender Equality Strategy. It sets out a 10 year vision, with measurable goals and progressive targets for change.
Creating a gender equal state will take time. But we believe by working together we will achieve generational change for gender equality.
The Strategy was released on 5 December as part of the Victoria Against Violence Campaign.