3 March 2020

DATE: Tuesday 3 March 2020

Today at an event at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, YWCA Canberra launched a short film about young women’s experiences of violence, reiterating a longstanding call for respectful relationships education in schools.

Frances Crimmins, YWCA Canberra’s CEO said, “Women, families and communities around the country are suffering needlessly and governments at all levels need to do more to end both the insidious and overtly horrific violence we experience every day in this country.

“The research is clear and we know what works – we need comprehensive respectful relationships education in our schools if we are going to see the generational shift in attitudes towards women that we desperately need.

“At the same time, we need to listen to what women who are experiencing domestic and family violence are saying about the flaws in the legal system, lack of affordable housing, and the overstretched crisis support services that are trying to do their best with dwindling resources.”

YWCA Canberra’s 2019 report Our Lives: Women in the ACT captured nearly 1100 responses from women in the ACT and found that:

  • 54 per cent of women had experienced sexism in the past 12 months
  • For women age 18-24 that proportion was 80 per cent
  • The workplace was often the site of these experiences.

“These are shocking statistics and they reveal the ugly reality of women’s lives in our otherwise beautiful city.

“Sadly we know through our own programs and services that women rarely only experience an isolated incident of violence in their lifetime.

“As an example, a national survey of women working in retail found that on average they experience seven incidents of sexual harassment in their workplace a year.

“That’s before you consider what happens when they go to university or walk down the street.

“This International Women’s Day we call on the ACT Government to help stop violence before it occurs.

“This means investing in respectful relationships education in all government schools that give young people the skills and tools to unpack gender stereotypes, understand what informed consent is, appreciate diversity, and build healthy intimate relationships.

“We are willing and ready to help be part of the solution and we know the ACT Government cares about the wellbeing and safety of women and girls.

“With courageous leadership, collaboration and adequate resourcing we can prevent violence against women.”

– ENDS –


Media contact: Angel Hellyer 0429 210 881

An embargoed copy of the short film is available upon request

Available for Interview:

  • Frances Crimmins – YWCA Canberra
  • Rachel Burgess – Unions ACT
  • Siang Jin – ANUSA
  • Sue Webeck – ANU Respectful Relationships Unit

Media are welcome to attend the event:

  • When: Tuesday, 3 March 2020, 10:00 am – 12 pm
  • Where: Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra ACT
  • What: short film launch followed by expert panel discussion with Rachel Burgess – Unions ACT, Siang Jin – ANUSA, Sue Webeck – ANU Respectful Relationships Unit
  • More information: https://ywca-canberra.org.au/event/iwd-2020-each-for-equal/

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