21 May
  • By Restoring Hope
  • Cause in

Domestic Violence Victoria strategic framework launch

On Tuesday 12th May 2015 Megan, one of our board members at Restoring Hope had the wonderful opportunity of speaking at the launch of a new media framework developed by Domestic Violence Victoria. The framework was entitled “Working with News and Social Media to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children: A Strategic Framework for Victoria,” it focuses on the primary prevention of domestic and family violence by engaging the media to report on violence against women in an informed and ethical manner.

The event was attended by staff from many health promotion organisations and support services working in the family violence sector, as well as journalists and others working in the media, notable speakers included Fiona McCormack, the CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria, and Fiona Richardson MP, Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence.

The framework is an excellent resource to engage not only the media, but also community and governmental organisations in wider discussions on violence and the causes behind it. It aims to use news and social media to challenge myths about violence against women and children, distribute accurate messages on the causes of this violence, and to promote understanding and support for its prevention. The framework encourages a collaborative approach between organisations, businesses and media across Victoria to take action against violence against women and their children – which statistics prove is an epidemic crisis in Australia and globally.

The event gave an opportunity to reflect on improvements in recent years regarding acknowledgement and coverage of violence against women and their children, yet was also a powerful reminder of how far we have to go – both with media reports of violence and community views on it. Myths and misconceptions contribute to the way we perceive violence, and we must address these in order to affect real change.

As a media advocate, Megan’s role was to use her personal experience of sexual assault to describe the impact of sexual violence on the individual and within the community, as well as highlighting the need for survivors’ stories to be heard in the media. Survivors play an incredible role in accurate conversations about violence, and their value should not be underestimated. Sharing this personal trauma can not only help take away the shame and self-blame that many survivors of violence and abuse feel; it also gives strength to others who are suffering. To be able to place the blame back where it rightfully belongs, with the perpetrators of violence, and to show that you can go on to live a happy, fulfilling life and have your sense of hope restored.

This media framework is a great tool for educated, responsible and sensitive community discussions around violence against women and their children, and an excellent step towards the prevention of these horrible crimes. By working together, and with a common goal, we can start positive, preventative conversations and help to build safer lives for all women and children in Australia.