In 2022, it's not enough for us to simply be aware that gendered violence is a problem.
It's not enough to know one woman a week is murdered by her male partner, or ex-partner.
Simply being horrified by the statistics and heartbroken by the stories isn't enough. We need to take action.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we set the agenda for how we engage men and boys using a primary prevention approach to end men's violence. To end it before it begins.
We applaud the federal government for making primary prevention one of its four key pillars in its Draft National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032.
Not only does it recognise the important role primary prevention plays in addressing attitudes and behaviours, but also the need to bring men and boys in as part of the solution to help create lasting change.
Over the past 18 months we have seen the conversation around gendered violence gain mainstream attention. We now encourage all men to act in solidarity with the women who have led the push for structural and cultural change.
Public support for renewed efforts to prevent violence against women is now at unprecedented levels in Australia. There is a growing universal push for the federal government to set a more detailed roadmap for how we are going to engage men and set targets as part of the national plan.
We need a plan and targeted support systems to reach men and boys, bring them in and help drive outcomes to end gendered violence. In addition, we must listen and learn from those with lived experience of family domestic violence - the victims, survivors and sector workers.
These targets should be defined and focused on supporting community-led primary prevention initiatives, including building a primary prevention workforce to deliver on the goals of the national plan.
The sense of urgency on this issue has been further boosted by a series of high-profile incidents, and the emergence of courageous advocates such as Brittany Higgins, Chanel Contos and Grace Tame.
This urgency is not new - 85 per cent of women say they have experienced sexual harassment and one-third report experiencing sexual or physical violence from men. In reality, these numbers may well be higher.
We know the way to bring about change in each community is unique. The approach must be different in Brisbane and Broome; in the city and rural Australia; on a building site and in a corporate office; in Parliament House and at a football club. Men's violence isn't unique to any one community, but the solutions are.
The thing is, we need real targets. We know the pathway, the tactics and the general approach to ending this violence, but we must be exceptionally specific about how we are going to be accountable as a society.
The national plan should also support the implementation of consistent, evidence-based respectful relationships education across the country, as well as encouraging workplaces to adopt primary prevention initiatives.
Prevention is a key to ending violence and abuse against women and children.
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