Australia’s campaign to prevent violence against women

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Over the last decade the rise in awareness of the issue of violence against women in Australia has been welcome. The stigma is somewhat diminished and silence surrounding the issue is not quite as deafening. White Ribbon is the United Nations Women sponsored campaign, one amongst many across the Australian context. Our Watch, ANROWS, AWAVA and The Line are government sponsored initiatives generated from The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and the associated government funding. Think Prevent is an example of several religious and not for profit initiatives seeking to reduce violence against women.

These organizations use many channels of communication to promote their common cause. White Ribbon is typical with an advertising budget of about $150 000pa in 2014 and 2015, representing about 5.5% of their 2014 revenue. It is notable that there was a significant jump in income across the sector in 2015. White Ribbon raised an additional $905, 000 (34%) of income without any increase in their marketing budget at all. Most of this was through individual donors and a positive response from the public though fundraising (White Ribbon Australia, 2015).

White Ribbon Finance 2014-15

Fig. 1. Financial Report White Ribbon Australia 2014-2015

This boost is attributed to ‘heightened community awareness and engagement on the issue of men’s violence against women in Australia’ (White Ribbon, p. 34). No doubt the tragic death of Luke Batty at the hands of his father on February 12, 2014, and the subsequent courageous campaigning of his mother Rosie for domestic violence awareness in Australia made a significant contribution to this ‘heightened community awareness’.

luke rosie batty

In 2014-15 the prevention of violence against women cause gained unprecedented coverage in print, TV, radio and social media. A marketing bonanza worth a hundred times the marketing budgets of all of the advocacy groups combined. The challenge for an integrated marketing strategy is that it is something that we would never like to see repeated. In addition, both with popular donor support and government funding, there is always another social cause just around the corner. All of these advocacy organizations are vulnerable to the whim of the media machine. Already the violence against women cause has received market competition from asylum seeker advocacy and same sex and gender diverse advocates. It may be that in 2016 prevention of violence against woman has already slipped below the top 5 social issues important to Australians (I Side With, 2016).

There are a number of integrated marketing strategies that White Ribbon and its sister organizations can undertake to maximize their promotional voice against this vulnerability. 1/ Be prepared to take advantage of media attention if something newsworthy on the issue arises. Public Relations and Publicity should be well resourced through an internal expert or a well briefed external consultant. 2/ Diligent and consistent social media involvement will be a cost effective way of keeping the issue on the agenda and in the public during lulls in mass media attention. 3/ Take advantage of any seasonal opportunities to piggyback on other media attention. Obviously White Ribbon already do this with the international momentum of White Ribbon day, but Mothers Day and other seasonal moments can also be utilized. 4/ As with the Batty tragedy real life resonance is enormously powerful. Consider social media campaigns that utilize real situations and people. Great care would need to be taken with the consideration of the privacy of vulnerable people. A mix of reenactments and brave survivors may be appropriate. 5/ Aspects of violence prevention strategies such as ‘active bystanders’ and ‘pledge takers’ that promote a ‘social self-identification’ (Potter, Moynihan and Stapleton, 2010), may be effective in promoting greater engagement and identification with the message.

Anon, 2015. Impulse Purchase Behavior Among Generation-Y. Journal of Marketing Management, XIV(1), pp.21-38.

Anon, 2015. The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 | Department of Social Services, Australian Government. [online] Dss.gov.au. Available at: <https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/women/programs-services/reducing-violence/the-national-plan-to-reduce-violence-against-women-and-their-children-2010-2022&gt; [Accessed 9 May 2016].

Anon, 2016. ANROWS. [online] ANROWS – Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. Available at: <http://anrows.org.au&gt; [Accessed 9 May 2016].

Anon, 2016. Australian Women Against Violence Alliance – AWAVA. [online] AWAVA. Available at: <http://awava.org.au&gt; [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Anon, 2016. OurWatch. [online] Ourwatch.org.au. Available at: <http://www.ourwatch.org.au&gt; [Accessed 4 May 2016].

Anon, 2016. The Line. [online] Theline.org.au. Available at: <http://www.theline.org.au&gt; [Accessed 9 May 2016].

Anon, 2016. The Most Popular Social Issues of 2016. [online] iSideWith. Available at: <https://australia.isidewith.com/polls/social&gt; [Accessed 9 May 2016].

Anon, 2016. Think Prevent. [online] Think Prevent. Available at: <https://thinkprevent.com&gt; [Accessed 5 May 2016].

Anon, 2016. White Ribbon – Australia’s Campaign to Prevent Men’s Violence Against Women. [online] White Ribbon. Available at: <http://www.whiteribbon.org.au&gt; [Accessed 2 May 2016].

Potter, S., Moynihan, M. and Stapleton, J., 2010. Using Social Self-Identification in Social Marketing Materials Aimed at Reducing Violence Against Women on Campus. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(5), pp.971-990.

Tuomisto, T., Hetherington, M., Morris, M., Tuomisto, M., Turjanmaa, V. and Lappalainen, R., 1999. Psychological and physiological characteristics of sweet food ?addiction?. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 25(2), pp.169-175.

White Ribbon Australia, 2015. Annual Report 2014-2015. [online] Available at: <https://issuu.com/whiteribbonaustralia/docs/wra_annual_report_2014-2015_low_res?e=22587726/34691548&gt; [Accessed 9 May 2016].

Submitted By: Simon Koefoed
E-mail: skoefoed@deakin.edu.au
Student id: 214486705
Wordpress Username: @skoefoed

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