New research uncovering Australian attitudes towards violence against women and gender equality, has been labelled depressing by a Wagga academic.
The National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey was released by the National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety.
CSU women’s issues lecturer, Andreia Schineanu said the survey shows women are still not being believed.
“Even after the MeToo movement, so it seems as if there is a backlash against it,” she said.
“There is also the fact that after all the educational campaigns and awareness campaigns that domestic violence is about a man losing his cool.
“It’s a choice, men make a choice. If they lose their cool, then they would do that with coworkers, but they only do it with partners and children.”
Dr Schineanu said we still have a long way to go, especially in Wagga.
“It is not surprising that police responded to 32 incidents of domestic violence over the weekend,” she said.
“There needs to be a concerted effort across the board much like there was a campaign against smoking.”
The results show a downward trend in the percentage of people who recognise that men are more likely than women to use violence in relationships, down 22 per cent since 1995.
Some 21 per cent also believe that ‘sometimes a woman can make a man so angry he hits her when he didn’t mean to’ and 1 in 3 believing rape results from men not being able to control their need for sex.
Dr Schineanu said there is still a misconception that violence against women is not a community problem.
“People tend to disconnect themselves,” she said.
“We need to target young children with our campaigns because that is when attitudes are formed.”
ANROWS CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow said that the discrepancy between many Australians’ knowledge and the evidence was worrying.
“Despite an increase in the number of high-profile cases of sexual violence in the media, such as those involved in the #MeToo movement, it is deeply concerning that so many Australians are still not believing women who come forward with claims of violence and sexual assault,” she said.
“We’re now more likely to understand that violence against women involves more than just physical violence, and to support gender equality – but we need to put this knowledge into action.
“We want people to be empowered to step up and act against abuse, violence or disrespect when they see it. This research shows most people would have the support of their peers if they took a stand against violence against women and sexism.”
Dr Nancarrow said that although there were many concerning findings, the survey shows that, overall, our attitudes towards gender equality and violence against women are improving.