1. Bystander action
The 2017 NCAS included questions on respondents’ anticipated responses should they witness two scenarios in a social setting 1.
The majority of Australians say they would act or like to act when witnessing abuse or disrespect towards women. Nearly all Australians would be bothered if they heard a male friend insulting or verbally abusing his partner.
Fewer Australians feel bothered when a male friend tells a sexist joke.
People appear to underestimate the support they are likely to receive from their friends if they act (i.e. more people said they would themselves be bothered than felt they would have the support of all or most of their friends if they acted to express disapproval).
Encouraging the community to take action in response to witnessing violence and disrespect towards women has been identified as a promising approach for the prevention of violence against women for a number of reasons. Firstly, only a very small proportion of violence comes to the attention of police and other relevant authorities. Secondly, many of the precursors to violence are not in themselves officially able to be sanctioned and thirdly, disapproval shown by those around us has been found to be one of the most effective forces to prevent violence against women2.