Sport is an integral part of Australian culture and it is woven into the fabric of the everyday lives of many Australian individuals, families and communities.
Change the story: a shared national framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia identifies it as a key setting for the prevention of violence against women in Australia.
On and off the field, sport has great potential to influence social change and prevent violence against women by creating inclusive, equitable, healthy and safe environments for men and women, boys and girls.
Sport has the capacity to influence, inform and shape attitudes and behaviours in both negative and positive ways. Sporting environments are places where violence against women can occur directly and, if allowed, can provide a setting for entrenched violence-supportive attitudes and behaviours to be played out. However, this doesn’t have to be the way. Sport can be a leader to empower, motivate and inspire change, on and off the field. Sport is a powerful environment to connect boys and girls, men and women with vital information, skills and strategies to push for inclusive, equitable, healthy and safe sporting spaces for everyone.
The challenge is to extend the notion of equality and fairness into the core business of sport by addressing the drivers of violence against women and stop it before it starts.
Download A team effort: preventing violence against women through sport resources:
A meta-analysis of studies of brief interventions to reduce HIV risk behaviour in HIV-negative gay men has concluded that there is evidence that such techniques did have a significant impact on the behaviours they were designed to change.
It also found evidence that the best way to conduct such interventions was face-to-face, i.e. not via the internet, telephone or phone apps, and that immediately or shortly after HIV testing was an ideal “learning moment” to conduct them.
Men’s behaviour change programs, many with long waiting lists, have become a common penalty meted out to perpetrators of family violence who come before the courts. But until now, there has been little Australian research.
Now a Monash University study – a comprehensive snapshot of 300 Australian men who use violence, and their partners (or ex-partners), over two years – gives cause for optimism.
A total of 843 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided services to clients seeking treatment and support for alcohol and other drug problems, an increase of 27% over the 5-year period to 2014–15.
Around 115,000 clients received just over 170,000 treatment episodes from alcohol and other drug treatment agencies.
2 in 3 clients were male (67%), just over half were aged 20–39 (54%), and 1 in 7 clients were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (15%).
The alcohol and other drug client group is an ageing cohort, with a median age of 33 years in 2014–15, up from 31 in 2005–06. Since 2005–06 there has been a decline in the proportion of 20–29 year olds being treated (from 33% to 27% of treatment episodes), while the proportion of those aged 40 and over rose from 26% to 32%.
The proportion of episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines (20%) has continued to increase over the last 10 years, from 11% of treatment episodes in 2005–06, and 17% in 2013–14.
There was an increase in the number of closed treatment episodes between 2005–06 and 2014–15, from 151,362 to 170,367—a 13% increase over the 10-year period.
In 2014–15, the top 4 principal drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (38% of treatment episodes), cannabis (24%), amphetamines (20%) and heroin (6%).
Treatment for the use of amphetamines increased over the 5 years to 2014–15 (from 9% of closed treatment episodes to 20%).
Over the 10 years since 2005–06, treatment types received by clients have not changed substantially, with counselling, assessment only and withdrawal management being the most common types of treatment—this was the same for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients.
Today, most research investigating IPV and other forms of sexual and partner violence focuses on heterosexual women as victims and heterosexual men as perpetrators, a notion that is justifiable in the realms of empirical evidence. However, when focusing on development, implementation and evaluation of effective intervention strategies to address IPV, current models are subject to heteronormative biases under the dominant gender binary paradigm.