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White Ribbon Day 2023: New report shows more than half of Australian men “don’t know where to start” in preventing violence against women

White Ribbon Australia 3 mins read
The Daily Issue by White Ribbon Australia
  • The prevention gap: 86% of men say they have a role to play, but just 6% of men take action to prevent violence 

  • Nearly two in three men believe merely “not being an offender” is doing enough 

  • Australians struggle to accurately identify non-physical forms of violence 

15 November 2023: Ahead of White Ribbon Day on Friday 17 November 2023, White Ribbon Australia, the nation’s largest movement to prevent men’s violence against women, has released results from a new study that show there’s no good reason to think we have done enough to combat this social issue.  

The results of a nationally representative survey indicate that Australian men are shockingly reticent to take action. While 86% of men acknowledged that they play a critical role in the prevention of violence against women, a mere 6% have actively helped (via monetary donations, volunteering time, educating self or others). 

The study also revealed: 

  • Compared to more visceral forms of violence, Australians struggle to identify social and psychological violence. Just 25% consider “Reducing agency” to be a form of violence against women. “Love bombing” (30%), “Coercion” (60%), “Disrespect” (64%) and “Shaming” (69%) all track well behind physical forms of violence against women. 

  • There is a high degree of confusion about how to help. More than half of Australian men (56%) say they do not understand their role in preventing violence against women. 

  • Australian men have set the bar shockingly low when it comes to personal involvement. Nearly two-thirds (64%) believe that “not being an offender” is doing enough to help end violence against women. 

  • Australians also underestimate that violence against women is an overwhelmingly gendered issue. While nearly all (95%) violence against women is perpetrated by men, Australians believe that just 71% of cases are caused by men.  

Melissa Perry, CEO of White Ribbon Australia said: “Our organisation exists to stop violence against women before it starts. We approach the issue as a problem that men need to help fix, not one that women must tolerate.” 

“White Ribbon Australia represents the collective commitment Australia must make to end men’s violence against women. We aim to prevent violence by addressing the root causes of abuse through community-centric programs and advocacy like our upcoming White Ribbon Day campaign.” 

White Ribbon Day 2023 

To mark White Ribbon Day (17 November) in 2023, White Ribbon Australia have created a special edition newspaper called The Daily Issue to call attention to the frequency with which violence against women still occurs to this day. The newspaper – which will be distributed nationwide – demonstrates the scale of the problem in Australia; the 500 articles reprinted within represent just 1% of the 48,000 stories published in 2023 alone. 

The campaign asks men to acknowledge that change begins with them and to become advocates and allies rather than bystanders. Men are being asked to visit whiteribbon.org.au and educate themselves and others on how to stand up and speak out on the issue. White Ribbon Australia are also helping men and boys engage their employer or school to establish educational programs that help prevent violence against women. 

“There is no good reason to think we have done enough to prevent men’s violence against women in this country,” said Perry. “We aim to stop violence before it starts and to build a nation where every woman is free from men’s violence.” 

-ends- 


About us:

About White Ribbon Australia 

White Ribbon Australia is a global social movement working to stop men’s violence against women. Our evidence-based primary prevention approach seeks to address the root causes of abuse and build a nation where every woman is free from men’s violence. We engage communities across the country through three major services streams and more than 20 advocacy, accreditation and engagement programs. We believe engaging men and boys to be part of the solution is the path to stopping violence against women before it starts. 


Contact details:

Media inquiries please contact: 

Alicia Baertsoen | Edelman for White Ribbon Australia 

alicia.baertsoen@edelman.com | 0421 491 025 

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