In the ad, the girl’s mother reassures her, “He just did it ’cause he likes you.” In the TV ad, a father also yells to his son playing, “Don’t throw like a girl”.
The ad campaign features a one-minute TV ad in which a young boy slams a door on a young girl, causing her to fall.
The Coalition government has launched a confronting new ad campaign, designed to get parents, teachers and coaches to clamp down on disrespectful and aggressive behaviour by boys and young men.
The $30 million campaign, which begins on Sunday, features a one-minute TV ad in which people dismiss or encourage gender stereotypes and violence against women and girls.
In one scenario, a young boy slams a door on a young girl, causing her to fall over. “He just did it ’cause he likes you,” the mother explains.
In another, a dad at a picnic, yells to his son playing nearby: “Don’t throw like a girl, mate.”
The situations escalate until a woman is knocked to the ground by an irate and violent partner, under the tagline: “Stop it at the start.”
Social Services Minister Christian Porter described the campaign as “very confronting”.
“People know that violence against women is wrong. What they may not know is that … all of us can unknowingly excuse and therefore perpetuate the behaviour that can lead to violence.”
Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said that excuses like, “it’s just boys being boys” had to stop.
The campaign will include TV, print, radio and digital advertising.
It comes as new Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins told the National Press Club she would make domestic violence one of her priorities as she begins her five-year term.
She said the 2015 National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey showed younger people had higher levels of “attitudinal support” for violence against women than older age groups.
“It should be of grave concern to us all, to know that it is our youth who are learning to accept and excuse violent attitudes to women and girls,” Ms Jenkins said.
“We need to intervene now so this is not a problem we pass onto the next generation.
“For this reason I welcome the government’s prevention campaign launched today.”
The campaign also follows Australian Bureau of Statistics figures that one in three women over the age of 15 has experienced physical violence, while one in six has experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner.
Greens spokeswoman for women Larissa Waters said the campaign should be accompanied by a funding boost to women’s refuges, legal services and call centres.
“We absolutely need to raise awareness and change attitudes about domestic violence and gender equality but doing so without boosting funding to crisis services, which are currently having to turn women away, is dangerous,” she said.
Labor similarly welcomed the campaign but called for more money for frontline services for women and children escaping violence.
More than 80 family violence experts and community groups wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last month, calling for more than $127 million a year to address critical shortages in domestic violence funding in the upcoming budget.
When asked about the request for more frontline funding, Mr Porter said the Coalition government had recently committed $100 million to address domestic violence and $230 million for the national partnership agreement on homelessness – with a specific focus on domestic violence.
“People will always say that more can be done … but over the last nine months more has been done … than has ever been done before.”
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. In an emergency, call 000.
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