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16 Days of Activism

Seniors Rights Victoria acknowledges that societal drivers to elder abuse include ageism and gender inequality. Gender inequality and the way it is expressed in society has been identified as the social condition underlying violence against women. As older women are subject to both ageism and gender inequality, they may be more likely to experience elder abuse than men. That's why SRV is supporting the 16 Days of Activism.

In 2022, Respect Victoria and Safe and Equal are partnering to deliver and support local community engagement with the 16 Days of Activism ‘Respect Women: Call It Out (Respect Is)’ statewide campaign.

Support and funding will be open to grassroots community organisations, regional and state-wide community health organisations, and local councils in Victoria.

16 ways to get involved

Here are just a few ideas. Many of these ideas can also be used beyond the 16 Days of Activism to encourage year-round action for gender equality and prevention of gender-based violence.

1. Join the 2022 Walk Against Family Violence (WAFV) hosted by Safe Steps with support from Respect Victoria on 25 November

To register and for additional resources, visit the Safe Steps website.

2. Host an online event: start conversations about preventing gender-based violence

Use the conversation starter kit to support a conversation about respect, gender-based violence, everyday sexism and how to call it out. Use VicHealth’s Framing Gender Equality Messaging Guide to help inform your messaging.

3. Get active on social media

Use the Fast facts: Attitudes to violence against women and gender equality to support your messages. See Dealing with resistance and backlash for tips on dealing with online resistance and backlash. Ask your Councillors, Presidents or Chairs to support the initiative through social media. Use the selfie frame provided in this toolkit.

4. Engage with diverse sources of lived experience

For further information about the multiple sources of lived experience and how your campaign could include lived experiences, see the Safe and Equal paper Sources of lived experience in the family violence sector.

5. Share books that challenge traditional gender stereotypes

Use the book lists to create library displays, promote to book clubs and distribute among colleagues, family and friends.

6. Elevate the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, refugee and migrant women

Three helpful resources include Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency’s (VACCA) #SafeKooriFamilies – There Is Another Way information, Djirra’s cartoon-style YouTube videos of Kirra, Alinta and Marli, and resources and social media tiles developed by InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence in partnership with Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria and Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health.

7. Share learnings about gender diversity

Advocating for equality, safety, security, freedom and respect for all women, transgender, gender-diverse and non-binary people is a critical component of long-term, sustainable primary prevention.

The Trans101 gender diversity crash course is a great place to start. Transfemme is a great entry point.

8. Add the Respect Women: ‘Call It Out’ logo to your email signature

Use the digital signature banner in this toolkit and the virtual background in your Zoom meetings.

9. Wear orange and get your colleagues to wear orange too!

Orange symbolises a brighter future and a world free from violence against women and girls. Take a photo of you and your colleagues in orange using the virtual selfie frame and share.

10. Use values-based messaging to strengthen the impact and reach of your campaign

Values-based messaging is a form of communication that appeals to people’s core values and principles to affect change.

For more information on values-based messaging, see these messaging guides developed in collaboration with Common Cause:

11. Make the link with masculinities and health to engage men and boys in primary prevention

Visit VicHealth – Masculinities and health

Build men’s awareness of the negative impacts of outdated forms of masculinity and encourage them to challenge dominant forms of masculinity as an avenue for engaging in preventing violence against women.

Check out Our Watch's Men in focus practice guide. No To Violence also have a range of resources to help support work in this space.

12. Run a competition

Organise a ‘challenging gender stereotypes’ art competition or a competition relating to what respect looks like in the context of gender equality and prevention of violence against women.

13. Display physical or digital posters/banners in your workspace and around your community

Display posters or banners (for example, the A-Z of Preventing violence against women) in your workplace, on your website and social media channels and on community notice boards.

14. Partner with local businesses

Ask local cafes to put stickers or printed sleeves on their coffee cups during the 16 Days of Activism. Ask local businesses including medical centres, supermarkets, chemists and petrol stations to display posters.

15. Ensure your events and materials are accessible to people with disabilities

Women with disabilities are twice as likely as women without disabilities to experience violence throughout their lives, but they are often left out of the conversation. Changing the Landscape, by Our Watch and Women with Disabilities Victoria, is a national, evidence-based resource to guide the prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities.

16. Learn more about preventing violence against older women

A particular area of focus for strengthening bystander action is in recognising, elevating and responding to the experiences of older women. For more guidance, see these resources:

Visit the Safe and Equal website for more.

the a to z of preventing gender based violence from Our Watch
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If you, or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through our confidential helpline on 1300 368 821. If it is an emergency, call 000.
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