Speaking at the annual White Ribbon Day lunch in Melbourne, Ms Wooldridge said that community education is required to change attitudes and behaviours that have allowed violence against women and children to continue.
“The White Ribbon Foundation plays an important educational role by challenging the cultural norms that inform the attitudes and behaviours that give license to some men to be violent towards women,” Ms Wooldridge said.
Ms Wooldridge said that this year’s White Ribbon Day theme – Lifting the Embargo: Media and the prevention of violence against women – recognised the important educational role of media in preventing violence against women.
“There is no doubt the media has a significant responsibility and a powerful ability to positively influence the conversations we have about the attitudes, messages, and behaviours that define interpersonal relationships in our society,” Ms Wooldridge said.
Ms Wooldridge said that under the Victorian Coalition Government’s Action Plan to address violence against women and children, the government is investing in programs that promote responsible reporting of violence against women and other issues related to the portrayal of women in the media, as well as a media advocacy project that will train and support survivors to engage with the media and become spokespeople.
“In addition, we provide funding for the Eliminating Violence Against Women Media Awards (EVAs), which recognise excellence in the responsible reporting of violence against women, including family violence or sexual assault,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“We hope these media initiatives will help further strengthen the media’s role as a valuable contributor to our collective goal to eliminate violence against women.”
The Coalition Government is also supporting a range of White Ribbon activities, including the development of an online training package for Victoria’s White Ribbon Ambassadors that will provide them with greater knowledge and skills about preventing men’s violence against women so they can be even more effective in their prevention activities.
primary prevention organisation, the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children.
“Headed by former senator Natasha Stott Despoja, the new Foundation will work with governments, business and other organisations, advocates and the broader community to raise awareness, drive attitudinal change, and build an evidence base of what works,” Ms Wooldridge said.