Ad blitz to combat disrespect to women

A new advertising campaign aims to tackle gender violence. Source: AAP

A $30 million advertising campaign hopes to combat violence against women by focusing on early attitudes of disrespect.

As a crown prosecutor Christian Porter encountered scores of rapists and wife bashers.

Now as Social Services Minister he's trying to stamp out disrespect towards women and girls before it escalates to a court appearance.

Reflecting on his decade prosecuting offenders, Mr Porter noted a "strange masculine acceptance of violence in Australia".

Along with Minister for Women Michaelia Cash he unveiled a $30 million advertising campaign on Wednesday aimed at combating early attitudes of disrespect.

The campaign aims to encourage parents, family members, teachers, coaches, community leaders and employers to set a new standard of what is acceptable.

Excuses such as "boys will be boys" and "he's just doing it because he likes you" should no longer fly, Mr Porter said.

While people knew that violence against women was wrong they could unknowingly be excusing and therefore perpetuating behaviour that could lead to violence, he said.

Senator Cash said little girls needed to be taught not to blame themselves when targeted by the bullying and pranks of young boys.

In a focus group for the campaign a 10-year-old girl asked what another little girl had done wrong when a young boy had thrown a plastic bottle in an unprovoked attack.

"The parents were absolutely horrified," Senator Cash said.

"We need to teach our young boys and girls to respect one another and that we are equals full stop."

The ministers agreed politicians also had to look at their behaviour and influence as role models.

"It is somewhat unhelpful I think in the interaction of men and women in politics when men overdo it and are too loud and too aggressive," Mr Porter said.

The flip side was to see strong female MPs give as good as they got in question time.

The advertisements will run from Sunday.

On average one woman is killed every week at the hands of a current or former partner.

Greens senator Larissa Waters urged the government to back up the campaign by restoring a funding cut in previous budgets to community legal services helping domestic violence victims and emergency accommodation.

* National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

Source AAP

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