Regional efforts to reduce family violence
Rates of family and violence (FV) are high, particularly in rural and remote areas. In the City of Greater Geraldton (CGG), a Western Australian regional area with a population ~39,000 (ABS 2016), rates of assault by a family member are 2.4 time the state rate and 3.3 times the metropolitan rate. Family violence has a devastating impact on the health, wellbeing and social fabric of regional Australia. Workplaces are important sites for developing the respectful attitudes that reduce violence.
The CGG has developed the Community Respect and Equality (CRE) Action Plan for the prevention of FV. A community-wide survey The Local Community Attitudes and Exposure to Violence Survey (LCAEVS) was designed as a tool to inform and measure the effectiveness of the CRE primary prevention strategy. The local survey was adapted from the ANROWS National Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS) 2017. We present the results from the baseline survey (2019), giving insights into the particular characteristics of the attitudes and experiences in this regional city. A second project to support the CRE was Speaking Out Against Disrespect, on-line training with a regional focus that builds skills and confidence to challenge adherence to rigid gender roles and attitudes which demean or disrespect women, particularly in Geraldton’s workplaces. By September 2021, almost 700 people had completed the training. We will report on their experiences six months after training to determine the extent to which they were able to use their skills to foster more equitable and respectful workplace cultures
Monica Moran is a registered occupational therapist and Associate Professor of Rural Health with WA Centre for Rural Health. She has practiced in rural and remote locations across three states in Australia. In her current role she works directly to support rural communities through the creation of authentic student learning experiences, the development of support strategies for rural health teams, and research and evaluation of primary and secondary prevention interventions. She is a chief investigator on the Conversations for Change project.