Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Using new technology and social media to address violence against women and girls

Technology and social media were new valuable ways to address violence against women and girls, the Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, has told a special side event at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York today.

Ms Collins said new technology and social media were raising community awareness of violence against women and taking the message about respectful relationships to young people.

“Social media has played an extraordinary part in helping publicise violent events against women involving seemingly random acts, in Australia and overseas.

“It is a great mobiliser of people as more and more around the world denounce the violence and call for change.

“Sadly, at the very same time significant numbers of women still experience hidden violence, which doesn’t attract attention.

“They are experiencing violence at the hands of their partners in their own homes-the most common form of violence women will face in their lives.

“We need to also use technology to influence changes in attitudes and behaviour to prevent violence from occurring in the first place.

“This is the aim of one of the initiatives under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (2010-2022).

The Line is a $17 million primary prevention social marketing campaign, focused on changing the attitudes and behaviour that contribute to violence.

The Line provides a web and Facebook environment for young Australians aged 12 to 20 to engage in genuine discussion about respectful relationships and poor behaviour.

“While it includes information for young people, parents and teachers, the key is the discussion and debate-young people exploring their own views and ideas.

“And we believe this approach is working.

“The Line is the second most popular Facebook page with Australian followers under the ‘politics’ category, only topped by the current Prime Minister.

“We all know that changing attitudes takes a long time-through actively using new technology and social media we are building on solid foundations for change,” Ms Collins said.

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