NCAS Partnerships and support Project Team Ms Kim Webster, Researcher and Project Manager Dr Kristin Diemer, The University of Melbourne Darren Pennay, Andrew Ward and Rebecca Bricknall, Social Research Centre Dr Michael Flood, University of Wollongong Dr Anastasia Powell, RMIT University Ms Violeta Politoff, VIcHealth Technical Advisory Group Ms Fiona Blackshaw, ABS Dr Kylie Cripps, University of New South Wales Dr Melanie Heenan, The Court Network Ms Renee Imbesi, VicHealth Professor Jenny Morgan, Melbourne University Law School Professor Julie Stubbs, University of New South Wales Led by VicHealth in partnership with The University of Melbourne and the Social Research Centre. The NCAS was supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.
The significance of attitudes Attitudes influence The perpetration of violence How women respond to violence The responses of others Responses within the health, welfare and law enforcement/legal systems Social norms and culture (and vice versa)
NCAS: An overview The 2013 NCAS is the third survey of its kind: 1995, 2009, 2013. One of two monitoring mechanisms as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, 2010- 2022. Aims Gauge awareness, attitudes and responses Assess change over time Improve understanding of contributing factors Consideration given to Age Gender Indigenous respondents Overseas born respondents People with disabilities
NCAS: An overview This NCAS involved more than 17,500 twenty-minute telephone interviews with Australians 16+. The research investigates five key areas: 1)Knowledge of violence against women 2)Attitudes towards violence against women 3)Attitudes towards gender roles and relationships 4)Responses to witnessing violence and knowledge of resources 5)Factors influencing knowledge and attitudes
1) Knowledge of violence against women Encouraging results Most Australians recognise that violence against women includes a wide range of behaviours – not just physical assault. This has increased since 1995. Most are aware that partner violence and forced sex in a relationship are against the law. Most people recognise that partner violence is usually perpetrated by men.
1) Knowledge of violence against women Areas of concern Fewer people believe that violence against women was common. Decrease in understanding that women are at greater risk of sexual assault by a person they know.
1) Knowledge of violence against women Areas of concern Only 4 in 10 Australians are aware of the greater risk of violence experienced by women with disabilities. There was a decrease in those who recognise that women are more likely to suffer physical harm and fear as a result of this violence. Only half believe levels of fear are worse for women as a consequence of violence.
2) Attitudes towards violence against women Encouraging results Very few Australians believe violence against women can be justified. Decreased proportion believe that domestic violence can be excused if the violent person is regretful. Decreased proportion who believe women who are sexually harassed should sort it out themselves.
2) Attitudes towards violence against women Encouraging results Most support the current policy that the violent person should be made to leave the family home. Most agree that violence against women is serious. Increase in the percentage recognising non-physical forms of control, intimidation and harassment as serious.
2) Attitudes towards violence against women Areas of concern Sizeable proportions believe there are circumstances in which violence can be excused. 43% believe that rape results from men not being able to control their need for sex. Nearly 20% believe domestic violence is a private matter to be handled in the family. Nearly 8 in 10 believe that it’s hard to understand why women stay in a violent relationship.
2) Attitudes towards violence against women Areas of concern A large proportion believe that women lie in cases of domestic violence and rape. Up to 1 in 5 believes that there are circumstances in which women bear some responsibility for violence. Less than half see tracking a female partner by electronic means as ‘very serious’.
3) Attitudes to gender roles and relationships Encouraging results Most Australians support gender equality in the public arena, such as workplaces. Most acknowledge that women still experience inequality in the workplace.
3) Attitudes to gender roles and relationships Areas of concern More than a quarter believe that men make better political leaders. Up to 28% of Australians endorse attitudes supportive of male dominance of decision-making in relationships.
4) Responses to witnessing violence, and knowledge of resources Encouraging results The overwhelming majority of Australians (98%) say they would intervene if they witnessed a woman being assaulted by her partner.
4) Responses to witnessing violence, and knowledge of resources Areas of concern Since 2009 there has been a decrease in those who would know where to go to get help with a domestic violence problem. Less than half recognise that police response times have improved. This percentage did not change from 2009 to 2013.
5) Factors influencing attitudes Three measures were developed from existing questions in order gauge overall: 1)Understanding of the dynamics and nature of violence against women 2)Attitudes to violence 3)Attitudes to gender roles/relationships Each respondent given a ‘high, ‘medium’, or low’ score dependent on their responses.
5) Factors influencing attitudes Demographic factors have less influence on understanding and attitudes. Measures included in the survey explain only some of the factors influencing understanding and attitudes. Other research suggests a range of factors contribute to the problem: Individual, relationship and family characteristics Organisational and community environments Broader social factors (media and pop culture) Rigid gender roles/identities Objectification of women
How can the NCAS support your work? The attitudes of the whole population set the social norms climate which ultimately influences behaviour of the whole. Framing messages Use findings to demonstrate positive social norms Most Australians do not hold views supportive of violence against women Identifying particular attitudes and norms requiring attention Making the case for prevention activity Addressing the factors which most influence attitudes is fundamental Identifying target groups and associated environments
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