Prevention of violence against women

Overview

Since 2012, Council has actively worked with the community to reduce violence against women. We are committed to building a community that is respectful and where women can live free from violence, and the fear of violence.

Statement of commitment

Our Prevention of Violence Against Women Statement of Commitment was endorsed by Council on 25 March 2015. View our statement(DOCX, 57KB) or statement(PDF, 166KB).

The Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program

The Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program is a Council-supported project, aiming to promote and normalise gender equality, and to eliminate violence against women. We work with CFA brigades and football netball clubs in the Macedon Ranges to support action for gender equality in these organisations. For more information, go to www.theruralchallenge.com or contact Stephen Hiley via shiley@mrsc.vic.gov.au

Elephant in the room

The Elephant in the Room is a colourful fiberglass elephant created in Wodonga by a group of women survivors of family violence. The aim of the Elephant in the Room, as the name suggests, is to encourage people to talk about the often hidden issue of family violence. It was on display in various venues in the Macedon Ranges between March and September 2015.

Prevention of Violence Against Women in Emergencies

In 2015, we developed an action plan for Prevention of Violence Against Women in Emergencies in partnership with emergency management agencies. This was the first plan of its kind at a municipal level in Victoria.

In March 2016, four and a half months after the Cobaw-Lancefield fires, the Prevention of Violence Against Women in Emergencies subcommittee conducted a survey to learn about people's experiences and observations during and after the fires to identify the potentially different ways women and men might be impacted. View the survey results(DOCX, 27KB) or survey results(PDF, 217KB) .  

In 2017/18, we developed and produced the 'disaster is no excuse for family violence...' suite of materials including A3 poster, DL flyer and wallet card (drawing on GAD Pod resources). These materials aim to raise awareness of the probability of increased family violence after natural disasters and to provide information on where people can find help and support. These materials will be used after an emergency in relief and recovery centres, and other locations in the affected district. View these materials and the generic version of the wallet card(DOCX, 634KB).

Our 2018–19 Action Plan identifies a range of multi-agency actions that aim to prevent violence before it occurs in the context of emergencies.

Women's Chainsaw Club

The Women’s Chainsaw Club is a program that empowers women living in rural and high fire risk areas and provides training that increases capacity, self-confidence and self-reliance, and strengthens social networks.

The 2018 pilot program consisted of three modules and was coordinated by Council in partnership with Lancefield Neighbourhood House and Benloch CFA. It was based on the Ladies’ Chainsaw Club proposal developed in 2015 by Regional Arts Victoria in partnership with the Prevention of Violence Against Women in Emergencies subcommittee of the Macedon Ranges Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee in response to research which showed that violence against women increases after natural disasters.

  • Module 1: Certificate 3 in the safe use of chainsaws ‘Trim & Crosscut’
  • Module 2: Design and chainsaw carving sculpture course
  • Module 3: Emergency preparedness

The modules were funded by CFA’s Summer Local Initiatives Program and Council.

Based on the Ladies’ Chainsaw Club proposal developed in 2015 by Regional Arts Victoria in partnership with the Prevention of Violence Against Women in Emergencies subcommittee of the Macedon Ranges Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee, the proposal was a response to research which showed that violence against women increases after natural disasters.

The pilot program exceeded the women's expectations. There is high demand for this type of education and the subcommittee is seeking funding to roll out further programs.

Women in high fire risk areas within the Macedon Ranges who are interested in future programs are welcome to contact Emilie Byrne at ebyrne@mrsc.vic.gov.au

Support services and crisis contacts

For all emergencies call Victoria Police on triple zero (000)

Listed below are a range of services both locally and statewide to assist women, men and young people who have experienced violence, or are in potentially violent situations. 

  • Safe steps Family Violence Response Centre: Crisis support line open 24 hours, 7 days. Call 1800 015 188.
  • 1800RESPECT: National sexual assault, family violence counselling service open 24 hours, 7 days. Call 1800 737 732.
  • After Hours Sexual Assault Crisis Line: Crisis counselling for survivors of both recent and past sexual assault. Call 1800 806 292 (open 5pm weeknights to 9am next day and throughout weekends and public holidays).
  • Cobaw Community Health: Counselling and housing support to women and children living in Macedon Ranges who are experiencing family violence. Located at 47 High Street in Kyneton. Call 5421 1666 (business hours only).
  • Hospital - Kyneton District Health Service: Call 5422 9900.