Latest News

Day 14: Eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work

The International Labour Organisation Violence and Harassment Convention 190 is the first international labour standard to address violence and harassment in the world of work. It will enter into force in June 2021.

The Argentinian Netflix thriller movie The Crimes that Bind offers an in-depth look at gender violence in the work and domestic spheres – the areas that ILO C190 addresses. The film follows a family where a mother is blinded by her unconditional love for her 35 year old son and is unable to even consider the possibility that he could be guilty of assault, rape, stalking and violence against women…

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women

Zonta Club of Perth

Day 13: Domestic violence victims are failed by WA Court

The Magistrates Court of Western Australia is failing to manage an increasing level of family and domestic violence-related matters, leaving victims exposed at a time when they are most vulnerable, a parliamentary committee has found. (ABC)

According to the report, in 2018 there were 37 family violence-related homicides in WA, the largest number reported of all states that year. Applications for family violence related restraining orders are up 38% in two years. Aboriginal women are 45 times more likely to be victims of family violence.

The report entitled Opening Doors to Justice – supporting victims by improving the management of family and domestic violence matters in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia, was released in August 2020.

The report’s recommendations included:

  • the appointment of additional magistrates in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia and Children’s Court of Western Australia
  • comprehensive and ongoing family and domestic violence training for all magistrates to assist them in their decision making in family and domestic violence related matters
  • magistrates hearing family and domestic violence matters are supported to become experts in the area by participating in additional training
  • magistrates and court staff participate in cultural awareness training as well as vicarious trauma training
  • increase in funding for duty lawyer services to ensure that all applicants and respondents can access legal advice and representation.
  • increase in funding to support delivery of services to victims of family and domestic violence
  • funding a wide range of culturally diverse information materials for court users, with a particular focus on matters involving family and domestic violence.

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women

Zonta Club of Perth

Day 12: DV Assist breaks the domestic violence cycle in regional WA

DV Assist is a new domestic violence support service for people living in regional Western Australia. It is designed to help those outside of cities to get better and more timely access to help.

DV Assist understands the challenges associated with domestic violence in regional areas, and how difficult it can be for a person experiencing domestic violence in a regional area to leave an abusive relationship. The DV Assist website can help you with:

  • Information on domestic and family violence
  • A checklist to create a safety plan and pack an escape bag
  • Links to counselling services to help you better understand your situation and get support
  • Crisis support information
  • Emergency accommodation information
  • Finding legal and financial advice
  • An online directory that can connect you with local, state and national domestic violence support services

The service featured on a recent Landline program where founder, author and farmer Fleur McDonald, was interviewed by the ABC’s Pip Courtney.

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women

Zonta Club of Perth

Day 11: Aboriginal women and children bear the brunt of family violence

Aboriginal women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence assault compared to non-Aboriginal women. One in four of all children and one in two Aboriginal children are exposed to family and domestic violence during childhood.

Family and domestic violence takes many forms. It can include:

  • Emotional/psychological abuse — mind games, manipulation, humiliation, insults, threats, put-downs, and making the person feel worthless or no good.
  • Physical assault —  pushing, slapping, punching, choking, kicking, and any other behaviour that is intended to cause harm.
  • Sexual assault — forced sexual contact/activity. ‘Forced’ in this context refers to individuals who are physically coerced to participate or who are not in a position to say no as a result of fear, threats or intimidation.
  • Social isolation — keeping the victim away from friends, family, work and/or other social opportunities.
  • Financial abuse — controlling the money and decisions around its use, taking or limiting money, stealing.
  • Spiritual abuse — keeping someone away from places of worship or forcing them to participate in spiritual or religious practice that they do not want to be involved with.

There are many useful links to access support from this site.

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women

Zonta Club of Perth

Day 10: Environmental degradation drives gender-based violence

The degradation of nature can lead to gender-based violence including sexual assault, domestic violence and forced prostitution, according to a IUCN study .

The study finds that gender-based violence is primarily used as a systemic means to reinforce existing privileges and power imbalances over roles and resources. For instance, conflict over access to scarce resources can give rise to practices such as ‘sex-for-fish’, where fishermen refuse to sell fish to women if they do not engage in sex, which was seen to occur in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa.

As limited natural resources grow even scarcer due to climate change, women and girls must also walk further to collect food, water or firewood, which heightens their risk of being subjected to gender-based violence.

Zonta Club of Perth supports the District 23 initiative – Zonta Says Now to Gender Equity and Climate Action. This initiative advocates for gender-sensitive responses to the climate crisis – so we can create a fairer future for everyone.

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women

Zonta Club of Perth

Day 9: We support White Ribbon

White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement engaging men and boys to end men’s violence against women and girls, promote gender equality and create new opportunities for men to build positive, healthy and respectful relationships.
The White Ribbon Australia movement works through a primary prevention approach in communities, schools and workplaces across the country. Through its programs and campaigns, White Ribbon engages with men to become active in the social change needed to stop men’s violence against women and children.

If you or someone else is worried about the impact you are having on those around you, there’s help available. White Ribbon encourages you to talk to someone trained in this area.

Zonta says NO to violence against women.

Zonta Club of Perth

Day 8: Changing the story

Our Watch is an independent organisation that works to build a long term and sustainable prevention movement across Australia to stop violence before it starts.

Change the Story provides the framework for this transformation as shown in this video.

Change the story brings together the international research, and nationwide experience, on what works to prevent violence against women and children.

Rather than prescribe specific actions, Change the story presents a shared understanding of the evidence and principles of effective prevention, and provides a guide to assist governments and other stakeholders to develop their own appropriate policies, strategies and programs to prevent violence against women.

Our Watch is funded by Commonwealth and State Government agencies, corporate, non-government agencies and individuals.

Zonta says NO to violence against women.

Zonta Club of Perth

Day 7: We support the new non-fatal strangulation legislation in Western Australia

Many women report that during family violence episodes their partners have attempted to strangle or suffocate them. From 1 October 2020, this practice became unlawful in Western Australia.

The Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WCDFVS) advises that the COVID 19 pandemic has coincided with the onset or escalation of violence against women in Australia.

The Australian Institute of Criminology (Statistical Bulletin #28 – July 2020) reported that two-thirds of Australian women who have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner said that the violence had started or escalated in the three months prior to the survey (in May 2020).

For women who reported experiencing physical and or sexual violence during July to September 2020, 41.6 % reported they had experienced an episode of being strangled or grabbed around the neck by the perpetrator. This act is a red flag for a high risk of serious harm and death in the future.

Zonta says NO to violence against women.

Zonta Club of Perth

Day 6: Zonta supports survivors of violence in PNG and Timor-Leste

Zonta International works to provide services to survivors in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Timor-Leste. Why there?

The magnitude of gender based violence in PNG is considered to be of epidemic proportions. In a recent study, 68% of women reported having experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.

A 2012 study of male perpetration of violence conducted in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, PNG, found that 87.6% of men admitted to physical,
emotional and/or economic abuse against their intimate partner.

Gender based violence remains one of the most pervasive human rights concerns in TimorLeste, with almost two out of every three women (15-49 years) reporting having experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime.

In Timor-Leste, tolerance for gender based violence is high with more
than three of four women and men believing a man is justified in physically
beating his wife.

Zonta has partnered with the UNFPA to strengthen the health sector in PNG and TImor-Leste so that women and girls, who have experienced violence, can access quality essential services for long-term recovery.

Zonta says NO to violence against women.

Zonta Club of Perth

Zonta works to provide health services to survivors of gender based violence in PNG and Timor-Leste

Day 5: Ishar for me same like as new house

Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services provides a range of holistic services to women from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. Ishar empowers women in domestic violence situations to regain control of their lives. Each year Ishar services approximately 1,800 women from over 100 ethnicities making over 50,000 service contacts.

The Zonta Club of Perth has a mentoring program with women from Ishar and over the years have come to have a greater understanding of the difficulties faced by women settling into a new land, learning a new language and also experiencing family violence. It is not easy.

Finding ways to respond safely, appropriately and respectfully, using capacity-building solutions developed in partnership with women of lived experience, enables women to take action in their own and their family’s best interests. Barriers to accessing support are high for women of CaLD backgrounds, so Ishar specialises in providing vital health and support services for women from overseas.

Read the stories of the women like Aisha, who have been empowered through Ishar’s programs and where Ishar is “same as like new house”.

Zonta says NO to violence against women.

Zonta Club of Perth