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theDVproject: 2650 – domestic violence in Wagga Wagga


Thursday 7 Dec 2017

A survey of community attitudes and knowledge of domestic violence in Wagga Wagga has found the regional NSW city holds more conservative attitudes towards gender roles and power dynamics compared to national figures.

Key points

- 1 083 people were surveyed in Wagga Wagga in 2016/17, with 4 out of 5 respondents believing that domestic violence is a common and serious issue in our community.

- It’s the second part of the three-staged project by the Wagga Women’s Health Centre, theDVproject: 2650, to prevent domestic violence.

- Domestic Violence in Wagga Wagga – Community Attitudes Survey’ was led by Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic Dr Andreia Schineanu (right) and Ms Laurent Darley-Bentley from the Wagga Women’s Health Centre.

The survey for the Wagga Women’s Health Centre also found:

  • - The vast majority of respondents have a good understanding of the law around domestic violence;
  • - Most respondents can identify the various forms of domestic violence behaviours and consider them serious;
  • - 3 out of 4 respondents are aware of the gendered nature of domestic violence;
  • - 1 in 2 respondents are aware of the causes of domestic violence;
  • - 9 out of 10 people would intervene if they witnessed a domestic violence incident;
  • - Overall, Wagga Wagga respondents hold more conservative attitudes towards gender roles and power dynamics compared to national figures;
  • - Men, those with low levels of education, and older people were significantly more likely to not recognise violent behaviours as domestic violence; justify domestic violence in some circumstances; not understand the gendered nature or power dynamics in domestic violence; hold traditional views on gender roles in society.

Dr Schineanu, from the University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences said, “Our study together with other research suggest that attitudes and knowledge towards domestic violence are influenced by social context, therefore prevention efforts should focus on factors that influence how people form attitudes.

“It would be beneficial to target future strategies to change knowledge and attitudes of young people and men, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people and those from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

“The results of this survey with conservative attitudes to gender roles and equality, but higher levels of knowledge and understanding of domestic violence are different to the national findings where people with conservative attitudes to gender roles and equality also scored lower on the knowledge and understanding of domestic violence.

“This difference suggests that Wagga Wagga may be on the cusp of change, and with a little support through targeted interventions, the attitudes to gender roles and equality could be made more libertarian.”

The full ‘Domestic Violence in Wagga Wagga – Community Attitudes Survey’ can be found here.


ends

Media contact: Fiona Halloran , 02 6933 2207

Media Note:

For interviews, please contact: Ms Lauren Darley-Bentley, Project Manager, theDVproject:2650 on email info@dvproject2650.org.au or mobile 0410 375 760, CSU researcher Dr Andreia Schineanu on email aschineanu@csu.edu.au, or mobile 0404523926, and  Ms Gail Meyer, Manager, Wagga Women’s Health Centre on telephone (02) 6921 3333, or email gail@waggawomen.org.au.

Background

The research was funded by Wagga Women’s Health Centre and The Rotary Club of Wollundry, Wagga Wagga. Project partners also included the Army Recruit and Training Centre, Kapooka.

The findings were launched at 2.30pm on Thursday 7 December 2017 in Wagga Wagga in conjunction with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December 2017).

Dr Andreia Schineanu, is a Research Associate in the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Wagga Wagga.

The researchers were supported by Ms Jasmin Hobson, a CSU social work student on workplace learning with the Wagga Women’s Health Centre. Ms Hobson will be awarded a Bachelor of Social Work during a graduation ceremony at CSU in Wagga Wagga on Monday 11 December.

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