Fired Up

Govt Announces $29M Campaign To Tackle Consent And Sexual Violence Between Young People

At least half of all women in Australia have experienced sexual harassment, abuse or violence. That’s 1 in 2 that has been sexually harassed, 1 in 3 that has been physically abused and 1 in 5 that has been sexually abused. Let that sink in. With #FiredUp, Refinery29 Australia makes an ongoing commitment to spotlighting this serious and pervasive issue with the goal of dismantling gendered violence in Australia.

A federal government campaign informing young people about sexual violence, consent and respectful relationships will roll out across the country in 2022.

Women's Safety Minister Anne Ruston has announced a $29 million package towards tools and preventative initiatives, including advertising targeted at university students.
Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
"The Morrison government is working to strengthen the capacity of all sectors to address sexual harassment to ensure women and girls of all ages can be safe at work, while studying, in public and online," Minister Ruston said in a statement published by the ABC.
The politician acknowledged that while community attitudes have evolved over time, more needs to be done to tackle these issues.
"There is a demonstrated need for primary prevention activities in higher education settings and vulnerable communities as well as working with men and boys to help stop sexual harassment and violence at the very start," she said.
"National and targeted initiatives will involve promoting and improving positive bystander responses as well as addressing disrespectful attitudes which may be learned from a young age."
The new campaign will be modelled off the government's earlier 'Stop It At The Start' campaign, which aimed to reset young people's attitudes by motivating adults around them to play a role. The goal was to help reduce violence against women and children.
Meanwhile, the announcement came ahead of the federal government's National Women's Safety Summit next week, where family safety advocates and service providers as well as women who have experienced violence will meet with politicians to share feedback on the government’s approach to women's safety issues, and propose more funding to support community services. 
Sharna Bremner, who is the founder and director of End Rape on Campus Australia, said on Twitter that she welcomed the government's $29 million announcement, but was disappointed her advocacy organisation wasn't invited to the upcoming summit.
"It's incredibly disappointing to see student survivors & advocates left out of the conversation over & over again," she also tweeted. It's disheartening to see their contributions, knowledge & experiences overlooked, particularly by those "in the sector"."
Earlier this year the federal government faced backlash for its milkshake consent ad, in which a conversation involving milkshakes was used to teach students about consent and boundaries. The government eventually pulled the video after widespread criticism claimed it was out of touch with Australia's youth.
It's about time politicians listen to our young people. Here's hoping the next ad campaign isn't another embarrassing metaphor-laden nightmare.
If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual or domestic violence and is in need of support, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Service

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