New Campaign To Challenge Young People's Attitudes To Violence Against Women

28/09/2015 3:04 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

"If you hurt someone, you cross the line. And if you cross the line, it can’t be undone. Everyone will know what you did. You can't undo it."

This is the core message of a powerful new national campaign, "You Can’t Undo Violence" designed to challenge young people's attitudes about violence against women.

Developed by Our Watch -- previously the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children -- along with Australian Community Media, the campaign launched today across digital channels, and is set to also appear in cinemas and other areas frequented by young people.

'You Can't Undo Violence' comes after independent research commissioned by Our Watch showed some young people held distressing "violence-supportive" views.

Examples include one in four young people stating they would show nude photos of an ex-partner to their mates after a break-up, and 15 percent saying they would send the photos to the girl's parents.

One in four also think it’s pretty normal for guys to pressure girls into sex and don't think it's serious if a male, who is ordinarily gentle, sometimes slaps his girlfriend during an argument if he's drunk.

More than one quarter of the young people surveyed said they think it’s important for men to be tough and strong, while 16 percent of think that women should know their place.

Our Watch CEO Paul Linossier said it was essential to spark awareness and conversation around issues of violence while attitudes were still being formed.

"We really want to engage a broad base of young people in this conversation. Young people are all bystanders to whole range of behaviours and attitudes and I think it's important that they, with their peers, can start conversations and in a respectful way challenge when they see mates and friends toe the line," Linossier told The Huffington Post Australia.

"It's the way someone is spoken about, it's the way certain behaviours are excused."

"Australia has woken up to a new chapter in the domestic violence conversation. I think it's absolutely abhorrent that more than 60 women have been killed this year and while we can’t change it over night, we can work to change it before it occurs. The way to do that is to engage our children and young people, to be frank and honest, and to have age appropriate conversations"

Luke Ablett, the former Sydney Swans player, gender equity advocate and Ambassador for The Line, also points out the need to communicate the message when young males are coming into their masculinity.

"This isn't necessarily about knowledge, it's about attitude," Ablett told The Huffington Post Australia. "And attitude is something that is shaped over years by different forces and different people.

"Something we have found from this survey is that the 14-15-year-old boys are most likely to have really horrible attitudes. I'd argue this is because it's at this time they are really starting to try out their masculinity and try to find where they fit and who they are.

"That period of young to mid teens is such an important time -- it's where attitudes are shifted and solidified."

The campaign encourages young people, parents and role models to visit The Line’s website to find out about the facts, myths, types and impacts of violence; and how they can take action to reject violence.

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