Shocking new research released by the Federal Government has revealed young Australian boys and girls are absorbing dangerous ideas about domestic violence.
The research will shape a $30 million national domestic violence prevention campaign, revealing primary-school aged children think violence against females is acceptable in some circumstances.
As part of the research, children were asked to respond to a number of scenarios depicting gender inequality and aggression.
It found that boys as young as 10 were quick to blame aggressive and sexist behaviours on others, particularly females, whereas young girls were quick to blame themselves.
Results also showed girls as young as 10 were quick to downplay disrespectful and aggressive behaviour from males, even physical violence, while boys displayed a high level of empathy toward other males who exhibit disrespectful or aggressive behaviour.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told News Limited the research paints a disturbing picture about the views many Australians have about domestic violence.
“It tells us that far too many people excuse, diminish and blame the victim when it comes to violence against women, now that is utterly unacceptable,” he says.
“These are attitudes we have to change, these are big cultural changes we need to effect.”
The report demonstrates children and teenagers can be strongly influenced by their parents, older siblings and other community leaders, including teachers and sports coaches.
It also shows that when they are engaged on the issue of domestic violence they respond well.
One in five Australian women experience sexual abuse, one in three experience physical violence and one in four women experience emotional abuse.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au In an emergency call 000.