30 August 2023
As incidents of sexual violence in the home, in the community and on campus continue unabated, No to Violence (NTV) and End Rape on Campus (EROC) Australia are urgently calling for national research that investigates the attitudes and behaviours of offenders who commit intimate partner violence to better understand why they use sexual violence and how we can prevent it.
“Government has funded really important national research into community attitudes to violence, including sexual violence and family violence,” said NTV CEO Jacqui Watt. “But there has been far too little attention paid to investigating the attitudes and behaviours of offenders themselves.”
“Without this critical foundational work to understand what motivates and influences men who use sexual violence, they will continue to prey on women both on campus, in the home and in the community.”
“We urgently need an appropriately funded national approach to researching why men who use violence against women including sexual violence behave that way, so we can better understand it and more effectively prevent it.”
NTV and EROC both appeared at the recent Senate Inquiry into the current and proposed sexual consent laws across Australia. As the peak body for men’s family violence services NTV brought to the Inquiry their specialist expertise in the area of sexual assault in the context of family violence and intimate partner violence, while EROC brought their specialist expertise around sexual assault and harassment on campus.
Nina Funnell, Director from EROC said Australia lags behind other comparable countries who have a much more effective approach to research and better outcomes in the community.
“It’s incredibly important that we’re capturing longitudinal data so that we can see what the trends are,” she said. “Where Australia differs from some other countries is that we’re only looking at prevalence of sexual victimisation rates. What would also be interesting to capture is information about the offenders.
“Some other countries, such as in America, are actually surveying for attitudes as well as behaviours which constitute sexually violent behaviour. We don’t have that data, and what that means is that we’re forever extracting from the victim survivor community but we’re not actually learning about offenders and offender patterns. I think that’s arguably just as important, if not more important, since that’s the behaviour we actually need to change.”
No To Violence (NTV) is the national leader in breaking the cycle of male family violence in Australia, and consistently provides trusted advice to Federal, State and Territory Governments on legislative reform, including recently providing advice on sexual consent law reform to the Tasmanian and New South Wales governments. NTV has a strong background working closely with the criminal justice system including Courts and Police Forces to support their awareness of the gendered nature of family violence, including sexual violence.
NTV also sits on the National Plan Advisory Group and plays a key role in supporting the government to achieve its ambitious goal of ending violence against women and children within a generation.
End Rape on Campus (EROC) Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides direct support to students impacted by sexual assault and/or sexual harassment within Australian university communities and advocates for reforms to ensure that all students can have an education free from sexual harm.
Stop the cycle of violence. If you are concerned about your or someone else’s behaviour, call Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit mrs.org.au for advice and support.
Note to outlets: Please run the Men’s Referral Service number so that all men in Australia who need help, can access help.
Jacqui Watt, CEO, No To Violence, is available for interview. Media contact: Sala Goma at salag@NTV.org.au or phone 0405 354 343
About No to Violence
No to Violence is Australia’s largest and only national peak body for organisations that work with men that use violence, providing training, sector development and advocacy across the sector.
It also operates the Men’s Referral Service, providing a counselling service and referral pathways directly to men who use violence.
Our primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of women and children. Always. Visit ntv.org.au
About End Rape on Campus Australia
End Rape on Campus Australia (EROC Australia) works to end sexual violence at universities and residential colleges through direct support for survivors and their communities; prevention through education; and policy reform at the campus, state, and federal levels.