The City of Ballarat Community Charter for the Prevention of Violence Against Women, adopted in March 2012 is the City of Ballarat’s commitment to recognising violence against women as a key social and health issue and to taking action to prevent violence against women.
Community members, workplaces, schools and community organisations and clubs across Ballarat are encouraged to make a commitment to the Charter alongside Council as a community partner.
Why do we need a Charter?
In developing the Charter, the City of Ballarat acknowledges that no one should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948).
Council has developed a Charter specifically for the prevention of violence against women because;
Evidence tells us that for Victorian women aged 14-44 years intimate partner violence is more damaging to their health then other factors like obesity and smoking
Women are three times more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence then men
Violence against women was estimated to cost the Australian economy $13.6 billion in 2009-$3.4 billion for the state of Victoria
One in four young people have witnessed violence against their mother or step mother
Source: VicHealth 2004 The Health cost of violence: measuring the burden of disease caused by intimate partner violence. A summary of findings, Victorian Health promotion Foundation, Melbourne
Preventing violence against women before it occurs has positive impacts not only for women but for the whole community.
Aims of the Charter
The City of Ballarat Community Charter for the Prevention of Violence against Women aims to;
To increase awareness of violence against women as a key social and health issue
Highlight the need for a community approach to prevention
Gather support for action that reduces violence against women
To inspire people to act at an individual and community level to eliminate the attitudes that support violence.
The Charter aligns with international, national and state plans and policies. Plans and policies consulted include;
United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women;
The National Plan to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022
A Right to Respect: Victorias Plan to Prevent Violence against Women 2010-2020
Vic Health Framework for the Prevention of Violence against Women
Municipal Association of Victoria Primary Prevention initiatives
City of Ballarat Community Charter for the Prevention of Violence against Women
Our vision is that the Ballarat community is a safer place and acts to eliminate violence against women.
Relationships between all members of the community are respectful and women and men have the opportunity to participate equally in all spheres of public and private life.
In developing this Charter relevant legislation and current literature have been considered.
For the purpose of the City of Ballarat Community Charter for the Prevention of Violence against Women the term ‘violence against women’ will be understood to be ‘any act of gender based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life’ (United Nation’s Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women 1993).
In support of the prevention of violence against women, I acknowledge the following principles:
Violence against women harms the entire community.
All women have the right to safe and respectful relationships and to live free from violence.
All members of the community are responsible for taking action to prevent violence against women and developing a culture of respect and equity.
All men have an important role to play in preventing violence against women.
All women and men to have the opportunity for equal participation in public and private life.
As a community member I endorse the City of Ballarat Community Charter for the Prevention of Violence against Women. I say ‘no’ to violence against women in all its forms. I pledge to prevent violence against women before it occurs and commit to the following actions:
Not to commit violence against women.
Not to remain silent about violence against women.
To model and demonstrate respectful behaviours in my relationships with family, friends, colleagues and other community members.
The City of Ballarat acknowledges the contribution of the following individuals and organisations to the development of the City of Ballarat Community Charter for the Prevention of Violence against Women and Implementation Plan 2012-2014:
Leah Keegan and Lany Johnson Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative
Jeanine Le Valliant Grampians Integrated Family Violence Committee
Louise Ferry and Cora Wierenga Ballarat Community Health Centre
Leo Brunelle University of Ballarat
Regina Baustista Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council
Sgt Joe Cahir and Sgt Mathew Sims Victoria Police
Claire McKenna Central Highlands Primary Care Partnership
Kate Souter and Emma Mahony Women’s Health Grampians