Men’s involvement in the movement to end violence against women is integral to the achievement of lasting social change.
The South East Metropolitan Sub Regional Accord to Prevent Men's Violence Against Women is an initiative of the CHALLENGE Family Violence Project.
CHALLENGE Family Violence participants from business, government, education, sport, faith and cultural groups present this accord to the community as a statement of intent and a commitment work together to prevent gendered violence. This Accord embodies a commitment by signatories to collaborate in the prevention of gendered violence.
Faith and community leaders involved in the CHALLENGE Family Violence project have signed the Accord pledging their commitment to preventing men’s violence against women.
Definition of men’s violence against women
The United Nations (UN) defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life” (Declaration of the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993).
The UN recognises that violence against women is a violation of women’s rights and freedoms, as human beings, especially concerning their entitlements to equality, security, liberty, integrity and dignity in political, economic, social, cultural and civil life. The UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) requires that participating countries take all necessary steps to end discrimination against women (UN 1979). Australia is a signatory to this convention.
Currently one in three Australian women experience physical or sexual assault from a male in their lifetime (VicHealth research summary report, 2011). The South East Metropolitan Region has one of the highest rates of family violence in Victoria with more than 7,000 incidents per year reported to police across Casey, Cardinia and Greater Dandenong (Victoria Police - Family Incident Reports, 2008-09 to 2012-13).
Not all men are violent. However, when women experience violence, it is most likely to be committed by men that they know, usually a current or former male partner or a male relative. Between 1999 and 2010, 91-95 per cent of perpetrators of family violence against adult female victims were male (Department of Justice, 2012 – Victorian Family Violence Database Volume 5) .
Purpose of the Accord
An accord is a statement of agreement. By signing this Accord you are agreeing to abide by the statements of commitment to prevent men’s violence against women, including:
- raising awareness of the impact of men’s violence against women as a key human rights, social and health issue
- highlighting the need for a community response and encourage community members to take responsibility and action to prevent men’s violence against women
- providing an opportunity for prominent organisations and individuals to show leadership on this key issue by taking a public stand and signing the Accord
- inspiring people to act on an individual and community level to reduce men’s violence against women and eliminate attitudes that support this violence
- encouraging whole-of-community ownership of the issue across the three municipalities.
"As a community member or organisational leader I sign this Accord to condemn men’s violence against women, and commit to personal action to bring about an end to this violence.
As an individual I commit to:
- take responsibility for my language, attitudes and behaviour
- not inflict violence against women
- not support, or minimise, any form of violence against women including the use of language that demeans and devalues women
- speak up in support of women who are experiencing violence and sexism
- build and encourage respectful relationships in my life
- contribute to making men’s violence against women history, so that future generations of young women and young men can grow up in an environment of non-violence, mutual respect and gender equity