Family Violence Awareness National Week of Action

Published: 24 Nov 2017


CFMEU will be raising flags, which read ‘Equal at Work, Equal at Home. Standing United Against Family Violence’ on construction sites around Australia. We’re doing our bit in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence which follows the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Our national day of action is about awareness, education and encouraging all of us to learn about the serious issue domestic and family violence that effects the whole community.

We believe we have an obligation to speak out against family violence.

What is domestic and family violence? It is not just overt violence…

Domestic and family violence is violent, threatening or controlling behaviour between family members and/or intimate partners that over time causes a person to feel fear, physical harm and/or psychological harm. It can include:

  • physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse;

  • neglect;

  • financial abuse;

  • stalking;

  • harm to an animal or property;

  • restricting your spiritual or cultural participation; and

  • exposing children to the effects of these behaviours.[i]


    Why are we doing this?

    The CFMEU is committed to continuing to show leadership on this issue. While most men are not perpetrators, this violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men and according to Australian research, is partly based on rigid views about what it means to be a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’.

    With its large percentage of male members nationwide the CFMEU has an important role to play in working with and educating our members, just as we have done around issues of drug and alcohol abuse and suicide prevention. Our national day of action on family and domestic violence is not about demonising men, it’s about mutual respect.

    We all benefit from eliminating domestic and family violence.

    We want to encourage more men to speak out against it.

    In the past we have done this branch by branch but today we take the next step united to break down the barrier to talking about domestic and family

    There are lots of different ways that we can do this, but we want to be a part of community driven change and to change attitudes. We want to be a part of the solution. We want to put the fence at the top of the cliff, not park the ambulance at the bottom.

    What are the facts?

    In Australia, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by someone known to them.[ii]

    Family violence is a bigger health risk for women than smoking, drinking and obesity. It contributes to a range of negative health outcomes, including poor mental health, problems during pregnancy and birth, alcohol and illicit drug use, suicide, injuries and homicide.[iii]

    We all have mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, nieces and friends and that is why we have decided to lead a co-ordinated national day of action.

    I know someone who was in that situation and I don’t understand why they didn’t leave…

    Domestic and family violence is an extremely complex issue. Leaving a violent situation can be the hardest step and the most dangerous time for someone. It needs to be carefully planned with appropriate support. Think about the last time you moved home. Now consider: - you have been assaulted, you are ashamed, you may not have money, your kids are terrified and you may not know where to go…

    What can you do?

    If you know or suspect that someone is in this situation you can call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) and they will provide you with advice and where to seek help.

    If you are in need of urgent police assistance call ‘000’.

    What if I know someone who I think is using violence at home or is having family or relationship problems?

    If you know or suspect that someone is in this situation you can call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) and they will provide you with advice and where to seek help.

    If you are in need of urgent police assistance call ‘000’.

    How can we do better?

    We know that as a community we can drive change. We all need to learn, understand and make a difference individually. It is up to all of us to oppose violence against women and promote a culture of non-violence and respect in our community.

    What can men do?

  1. We can declare that violence against women is never acceptable.

  2. Men need to work alongside women in ending violence against women.

  3. We need to be having the private conversations, with our mates, our sons, our families. Women and girls need respect and need to be treated as equals. We also need to be having the public conversations, using our influence where we can.

  4. Men need to help other men understand that violence against women is fuelled by attitudes and beliefs that women are worth less than men, or are the property of men.


If someone needs assistance…

We are not experts on the issue, please seek help from your Organiser or Mates in Construction if you need assistance or advice on what to do in a difficult situation.

Important Numbers….

Mates in Construction: 1300 MIC 111

Incolink: 03 9668 3061or 0419 568 605