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Background

The Hume and Whittlesea municipalities respectively have the highest and the second highest rates of reported family violence in North West Melbourne. This adversely impacts the health and well being of women, children, families and the community. An identified driver of violence against women and children is gender inequality, and the acceptance of negative gender stereotypes.

The 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) report found a decline in youth understanding of causation of violence. Many believed violence was enacted by men and women equally. This perception does not support the reality that 95% of all victims of violence in Australia report a male perpetrator.

Much work around violence prevention is concentrated on intervention that seeks to educate young people on respectful relationships. This encourages them to challenge and reject harmful gender stereotypes. However, based on the recent NCAS data, there is scope to address youths decline in understanding around violence against women.

How will smartphone films help?

In the case of the Your Story. Your Lens Cinespace project we are targeting youth to engage them in a smartphone short film making course.  The aim is to prompt conversation and storytelling around family violence, gender drivers of violence and gender stereotypes. Art can function as a powerful medium for exploring, challenging, disrupting and reinforcing gender stereotypes. It also offers creative opportunities around telling stories from the past, present and of the future. This is why we have chosen to use film due to is capacity for self-exploration, exploration of the other (which women fall into the category of), and capacity to start conversation and be a vehicle for social change.

In terms of scale, film has the capacity to extend its reach beyond originally targeted audiences and be shared with many through digital media and social media platforms.

The project itself aligns with the following council, state and national frameworks and strategies: Ending Family Violence : Victoria’s Plan for Change; Safe and Strong – Victoria’s Gender Equality Strategy; Our Watch : Change the Story – Shared framework for the prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia; Free from violence – Victoria’s strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women; Hume City Council Health & Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021, City of Whittlesea Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2017-2021 and City of Whittlesea Youthplan 2030+

Program Objectives

  • Increase youth engagement around activism for gender inequality through the use of the arts
  • Increase youth understanding of the role of gender inequality on every-day life through the use of the arts
  • Increase youth understanding of the relationship between gender inequality and violence against women through the use of the arts

This program has been postponed until June due to coronavirus. Please visit our news article for more information and to register your interest.

Resources

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