Young Australians learning not to cross the line on violence
An Australian Government campaign aiming to reduce violence against women is helping to change the attitudes of young people.
The Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, said new tracking research showed The Line campaign has been effective in influencing early attitudes that lead to long-term behaviour issues.
The Line is a four-year $17 million Australian Government initiative that uses social media to raise awareness among young people aged 12 to 20 about respectful relationships and appropriate behaviour.
“Teaching young Australians about healthy and respectful relationships is critical to breaking the cycle of violence against women,” Ms Collins said.
“The Line encourages young people to think about what is acceptable in a relationship and what crosses the line.
“The campaign is making a positive impact, particularly during early relationships when young people rely heavily on advice from their peers about what is right and wrong.”
The most recent wave of tracking research found, based on feedback from The Line users, that:
- 84 per cent of people who recognise The Line campaign claim it has improved their understanding of behaviour that could be “crossing the line”.
- 81 per cent of people have done something positive as a result of the campaign.
- 78 per cent of people intended to change their behaviour in the next six months.
- 84 per cent of 12 to 24 year olds intended to change their behaviour in the next six months as a result of the campaign.
The research uncovered significant improvements in behaviour among young people around:
- name calling and verbal abuse
- talking badly about other people
- wareness of what constitutes abusive or violent behaviour
- bullying and cyber-bullying being unacceptable
- talking to friends and family about relationship issues.
But it also found that increased effort is needed in the areas of bullying, harassment and gender equality.
“These issues remain among the biggest areas of confusion for older teens and in particular young men and they will be a focus for the remaining campaign,” Ms Collins said.
The findings coincide with the release of the fourth issue of Between the Lines – an online magazine produced as part of The Line.
“Between the Lines gets young people talking about respectful relationships – it’s an online magazine designed by young people, for young people,” Ms Collins said.
“Each issue of the magazine targets a different relationship topic. This edition focuses on inappropriate online behaviour, and shares short stories, poetry, songs and cartoons from young Australians.
“This issue also includes interviews and videos with new musical ambassadors, Owl Eyes and Stonefield, who recently toured Australia promoting The Line to sold-out audiences.”
A mobile version of the magazine is also available through The Line’s smartphone app.
To date The Line campaign has reached over 2 million people, with around 71,000 Facebook likes.