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The new campaign to end gendered violence in Ballarat

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Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan has announced a new plan to end gendered violence in Ballarat, after three alleged murders in 2024.
Jacinta Allan has announced a new plan to tackle gendered violence in Ballarat.

The Victorian Government is launching a $10 million campaign to end gendered violence in Ballarat — where three women have been allegedly murdered this year.

The initiative will target workplaces, schools, sporting clubs, and community groups in the regional Victorian city.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan told TDA the four-year program will focus on education, prevention, social media strategies, and encouraging male participation in anti-violence efforts.

Ballarat

Today’s announcement follows the deaths of three women — Samantha Murphy, Rebecca Young, and Hannah McGuire — in Ballarat this year.

Police are continuing the search for Samantha Murphy’s body after the mother of three went missing in February. A Ballarat man has been charged with her murder.

The deaths sparked major protests calling for greater gendered violence awareness and prevention measures.

New campaign

The Victorian Government will launch what it called a “world-leading pilot” to prevent gendered violence in Ballarat — a regional city of about 100,000 people.

It said it plans to “saturate every corner of the community with awareness and action”. For example, educational materials will be distributed across cafes, sporting clubs, schools, and workplaces in Ballarat.

The Victorian Premier said the community has been “hurting” for several months. “Too many women in Ballarat have… lost their lives violently,” Allan told TDA.

Social media

Social media will form a major part of the campaign.

Online awareness materials will be ‘geo-targeted’ to Ballarat residents, ensuring they see specific gendered violence education messages.

The Premier said this means that “information and tools” will pop up in the social media feeds of users scrolling online in Ballarat.

The campaign will also recruit local influencers to discuss the harms of toxic masculinity with their social media followers.

Male attitudes

Allan said the awareness campaign will aim to encourage cultural change around male attitudes towards women. This includes plans to boost education programs for school students.

“Violence against women and girls has its origins in a lack of respect,” the Premier said.

Swipe to watch the Premier speaking to TDA about male attitudes and gendered violence.

Local response

Not-for-profit community organisation Women’s Health Grampians (WHG) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s campaign.

WHG CEO Marianne Hendron said locals have been calling for “tangible, practical” action on gendered violence.

Ballarat Mayor Des Hudson told TDA the community is ready to “come together” and do more to prevent violence against women and children.

Frontline workers

Premier Allan also said the State Government is working to hire more emergency responders.

This follows a Federal Government pledge of over $169 million for the states and territories to hire 500 additional emergency workers by the end of June.

Earlier this month, Federal Minister for Women Katy Gallagher told TDA that only half of the workers will be in place by the end of June.

Allan said, “We are working flat out…We are recruiting people right now,” to meet the 30 June deadline.

Next steps

The Victorian Government will work with community groups to develop the Ballarat campaign over the next six months. After then, officials will be able to fully roll out the campaign.

Mayor Hudson said: “It’s about bringing our whole community into a conversation as to what we can do to… improve outcomes for women and children.”

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