Time to Stop it at the Start: NSW Government Commits to Joining Our Watch Signaling a Shift in Policy Emphasis

The NSW Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Mark Speakman and Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor will today announce the Government’s commitment to join Our Watch.

Our Watch is the national body established under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 to drive a change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women and their children – the disrespectful attitudes towards women and girls, rigid gender stereotypes and violence supportive attitudes which promote violence in our families and communities in the first place.

Until now, NSW had been criticised as being the last remaining State to abstain from joining the primary prevention organisation, with Western Australia the second last to join in 2017.

WDVCAS NSW and our Women’s Alliance colleagues had called on the Government to reconsider its position. We noted the essential role Our Watch performs in creating the best practice frameworks and resources to drive cultural and attitudinal change and the importance of working with our Federal, State and Territory counterparts in sharing practice knowledge.

The incoming Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Mark Speakman and Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor listened.

WDVCAS NSW Director, Hayley Foster, notes the significance of the message being sent with this announcement. “The decision by the incoming Minister to join Our Watch sends a really clear message that this Government is not only committed to more effectively addressing violence against women and children when it occurs, but also stopping it from occurring in the first place.”

Foster is energised by what the decision will mean for the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our communities. “Joining Our Watch is important because it opens the door for us in NSW to really propel our primary prevention efforts forward in ending a culture of violence in our communities – from the home to the workplace, and in sporting clubs, schools and educational institutions, religious and cultural organisations, and in the media. And this is good for everyone.”

Read the full media release here.

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