16 Days of Activism – 8 ways in which you can prevent gender-based violence

The 16 Days of Activism is a global initiative used to highlight ways in which we can prevent gender-based violence in our everyday lives and take action to prevent violence before it starts.

It kicks off with the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, which you can read about on the blog.

Our theme this year is by Respect Victoria, “Call It Out (Respect Is)”. The aim is to get everyone to take three simple steps towards a future where we are all safe, equal and respected.

  1. Think about what respect means to you
  2. Call out sexism
  3. Set the right example

Here are 8 ways in which you can help to prevent gender-based violence in your everyday lives:

  1. Be an active bystander on campus to help address gender-based violence. Check out the beginning of the bystander action series we did earlier in the year to see examples of how you can do this on campus and learn about what sexual harm is.
  2. The majority of violence is perpetrated by men: Men against women, men against other men and men against themselves. It is in the interest of men’s own wellbeing to be active partners in tackling violence against women, to support gender equality and to be role models for healthier forms of masculinity. Watch the following video which is a summary of the findings of the Man Box-The Men’s Project.
  3. Educate yourself on gender stereotypes and challenging gender norms by reading your way through your summer holidays! We’ve updated this book recommendations list to include some new titles.
  4. Do you know that sexist comments and jokes were the second most common form of sexual harassment experienced in an Australian University setting in 2016? Learn about sexist comments and jokes in everyday settings, and how to recognise it and safely take action.
  5. Familiarize yourself with Safer Community on campus. Safer Community is a free, confidential support service if you are experiencing (or have witnessed) concerning, threatening, inappropriate or uncomfortable behaviour. This can be witnessed or experienced both on and off-campus. You can also contact them anonymously for advice, referrals and support. Have a look at their website, and view the Safer Community online resources for some of the topics they can help with.
  6. Sport should be available to anyone who wants to participate, yet much of the messaging around who participates in sports from early childhood, sports programs, media reporting and representation, regulations to pay rates and prize money, are not equitable and continue to be dominated by white men. It’s important that we offer opportunities to play sports to all individuals and debunk the myths that limit access based on gender, race or culture. Vic Health explains how COVID19 has impacted how women and girls have disengaged in sports during the pandemic, and they’re exploring opportunities for ‘Empowering Women to get Active’.
  7. Unwanted sexual advances are any type of unwelcome sexual behaviour which could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated. It could range in severity from a passing cat-call from a car, to non-consensual sexual activity. Find out more about unwanted sexual advances and how you can safely intervene if you witness it
  8. The 3rd of December is International Day of Person’s with Disabilities. This year’s theme is “Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era.” Research suggests that women with disabilities are more likely to experience family violence, emotional abuse, and sexual assault than women without disabilities. Read about this UN report ‘Women with Disabilities in a Pandemic (COVID19)’ and how it has disproportionally affected women with a disability.

At La Trobe

At La Trobe, our Safer Community program is a free, confidential support service if you are experiencing concerning, threatening, inappropriate or uncomfortable behaviour. This can be witnessed or experienced both on and off-campus.

Visit the Safer Community website for more information.