The next phase of the groundbreaking Stop it at the Start campaign to reduce violence against women and their children begins on Sunday.
Jointly funded by the Australian, state and territory governments, the campaign encourages all adults – parents, family members, teachers, coaches, employers, community leaders and other role models – to think about the impact of what they say and do, and talk to young people about respect.
Phase two was launched in Adelaide at the COAG National Summit on Reducing Violence Against Women and Their Children.
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the campaign is changing the way we understand the link between disrespect and violence against women.
“The statistics on this issue are shocking – one in six women have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner since the age of 15. This figure increases to nearly one in four women when violence by boyfriends, girlfriends and dates is included,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“It’s also concerning that one in four young people are prepared to excuse violence from a partner.
“This is a cycle of violence that starts with disrespect. Throwaway comments like ‘it’s just boys being boys’ or ‘he did it because he likes you’ can make young people think disrespect is a normal part of growing up. We need to ask ourselves – is that what we meant?
“While not all disrespect ends with violence, the cycle of violence certainly starts with disrespect. It’s good to remember that our behaviour is a powerful influence on others, particularly the young.
“Stop it at the Start shows that small steps, together, can make a difference.”
Minister for Families and Social Services, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the first phase of the campaign – which launched in April 2016 – had been highly effective.
“Phase one advertisements were viewed over 43 million times online, with hundreds of thousands of shares on social media which prompted extensive online conversation,” Minister Fletcher said.
“Importantly, evaluation research found that more than two-thirds of adults who saw the campaign took action and people started changing some of their deeply-held attitudes.
“Phase two includes new advertising and supporting activities that show how our words and actions can be misinterpreted by young people, and how we can create change as a community.
“Violence against women and their children takes a huge toll, and the human cost is incalculable. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that on average, almost eight women were hospitalised each day in 2014-15 from assaults by current or former spouses or domestic partners.
“It’s important to know that we can help stop it at the start. Each of us can play a role by intervening when we see disrespectful behaviour, or talking to our kids about respectful relationships.”
The $30 million Stop it at the Start campaign is an initiative under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
Phase two advertising started on Sunday 7 October and will run on television, online video, cinema, outdoor, digital, social media, radio and newspapers.
This will be supported by online tools and resources to help parents and other influencers role model positive behaviours and have conversations with the young people in their lives.