Findings from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey

The findings from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) have been released on 30 November. Overall, the survey found that Australians are less likely to hold attitudes that are supportive of violence against women now than in 2013 and 2009 and are more likely to support gender equality.

Fewer people reported believe that domestic violence could be excused if it resulted from men getting angry and losing control. There has also been a staggering 13 percentage point decrease in the proportion of people who believe men make better political leaders than women.

But the research shows that many Australians also believe some common myths. There has been a declining trend in the percentage of people recognising that men are more likely than women to use violence in relationships (down 22 percentage points since1995). One in three Australians are also unaware that a woman is more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone she knows than by a stranger.

Many Australians are still prepared to excuse and minimise this violence. Over forty per cent of people believe that it is common for sexual assault accusations to be used as a way of “getting back at men” and a third of people believe that women are partly responsible if their partner shares intimate photos without their permission. And in relation to gender equality, 40 per cent think many women exaggerate how unequally women are treated in Australia, half of people think many women mistakenly interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist and over a third of people think it’s natural for a man to want to appear in control of his partner in front of his male friends.

Read the findings at: ncas.anrows.org.au

Changes to the Safer Families Grants Program allow easier access to grants of up to $2,000 for people who have experienced domestic and family violence.

The ACT Government’s Safer Families Grants are a critical component of the government’s Safer Families package announced in 2016.  These grants are available to assist people who have experienced, or are experiencing, domestic and family violence to rebuild their lives, with a total of $409,000 in funding committed over four years in the 2018-19 budget. Previously the grant was linked to the Housing ACT Rental Bonds Loan Scheme and designed to assist with the costs of moving, buying furniture and white goods, and paying utilities and rent.

These Grants have undergone an operational review to ensure they were getting to the right people, at the right time. Under the new arrangement for the Safer Families Assistance program, a person no longer has to apply for a rental bond loan to be eligible, and the range of assistance that a person can apply for has expanded to include legal costs, pet care, mortgage and rental payments and other costs associated with establishing or sustaining a family home.

For more information see https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/yvette-berry-mla-media-releases/2018/more-accessible-support-for-people-impacted-by-family-violence

Access to restorative justice expanded to victims of family violence and sexual offences

Minister for Justice, Shane Rattenbury announced that victims of family violence and sexual offences will now have access to the restorative justice process, following the commencement of phase three of the voluntary Restorative Justice Scheme. This will allow both victims and those responsible for offending the option to participate in a facilitated and supported conferencing process.

Read the media release here.