Saturday October 24, 2015
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Language/ Cultural Consultant
Reclaim the Night is a forum for direct action that protests the specific forms of harassment, blaming, sexual assault and violence experienced by women. This has been the focus of the global Reclaim the Night movement over its 30-year history.
Intimate partner violence is responsible for more ill health and premature death in Victorian women aged 15 to 44 than any other of the well known risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.
Yes, you read that correctly. More Victorian women suffer or die at the hands of the men who claim to love them than from any other condition.
According to Victoria Police Crime Statistics for 2011–2012, most violence against women is committed by men. Women make up 75.8 per cent of family violence victims, 88.7 per cent of rape victims and 79.5 per cent of victims of sex (non-rape) offences. Children were present in 36 per cent of family violence incidents attended by Victoria Police in 2011–2012.
The National Survey on Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women 2014 revealed that around one in five people believe that family violence can be excused if it results from people ‘temporarily losing control’ or if they ‘truly regret’ what they have done.
This survey also found that:
- One in twenty Australians believed that ‘women who are raped ask for it’.
- Just over one-quarter of the community still believed it is not rare for women to make false claims of being raped.
- Thirteen per cent agreed that women ‘often say no when they mean yes’ and 16 per cent agreed that a woman ‘is partly responsible if she is raped when drunk or drug-affected’.
- One fifth of the community believed that men and women are equal perpetrators of violence in the home.
- Over one third of the community believed that ‘rape results from men being unable to control their need for sex’ (VicHealth 2010).
These dangerously problematic and just plain incorrect community attitudes must be resisted and broken down by all of us if we are going to make any real headway in ending violence against women.
This is why the Reclaim the Night organisers for the march in Brunswick demand a wider implementation of quality education initiatives that teach both children and adults about issues such as consent and gender stereotyping.