HomeAustraliaOne in three think women use sexual assault claims to 'get back...

One in three think women use sexual assault claims to ‘get back at men’


Despite consent activism by women, including tales of chanelwho campaigned for better consent education, one in four people believe that when a man is highly sexually aroused, “he may not realize that the woman doesn’t want to have sex.”

“These attitudes rationalize aggressive sexual behavior by men and overlook the need to obtain consent because of the perception that it is biologically difficult for men to regulate their sexual behavior,” the report says.

Observed attitudes of “backlash” it had emerged since 2017. In that year, the #MeToo movement went global after revelations about repeated sexual harassment by the film producer. harvey weinstein, who was convicted of rape.

The researchers said evidence of backlash included that 41 percent of respondents agreed that “many women misinterpret innocent comments as sexist,” exaggerate unequal treatment (35 percent) and do not fully appreciate what what men do for them (30 percent).

Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, a national research leader on violence against women, labeled some attitudes in the report: “combined with the unexplained rise in popularity of figures as (viral masculinity influencer) andres tate” – extremely worrying.

37 percent of respondents showed significant distrust of women who thought that people in custody battles “often make up or exaggerate allegations of domestic violence to improve their case,” and that many women exaggerate the scope of the men’s violence against women (23 percent). penny).

Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of those surveyed thought that “much of what is called domestic violence is actually a normal reaction to day-to-day stress and frustration” and less than half believe it happens in their suburb .

Emily Maguire, chief executive of Respect Victoria, said it was “incredibly challenging” to see a series of high profile domestic violence cases, notably the 2020 murder of Hannah Clarke and her three children by her estranged husband, and preventative education “barely touched the sides for many people… but it’s a long-term game, and hope is not over.” misses”.

Louise Edmonds, a victim-survivor of teenage sexual abuse and foreign domestic abuse, said the myth that false reporting is common was damaging.

“When you are sexually violated, you are also physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally violated,” said Edmonds, who gave permission to be identified. edmonds runs a plataform to encourage healthy relationships and masculinity, in an attempt to prevent domestic violence.

“You can’t just make this up, along with the physical evidence of the assault. However, I have spoken to many other victims of gender-based violence who have been publicly ridiculed and the assault or rape covered up, and the victim’s character assassinated in court.”

Positive results included that most people (88 percent) disagreed that a man is less responsible for a rape if he is drunk or high, and that a woman claims to have been sexually assaulted but has no physical injuries. , should not be carried. too seriously (83 percent).

Two in five people mistakenly believed that women and men were equally likely to perpetrate domestic violence, when data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that 75 per cent of victims of family violence identify the perpetrator as male, compared to 25 per cent who report it as female.

Some incorrectly believed that men and women are equally likely to be harmed by domestic violence (21 percent) and fear (28 percent).

Chanel Contos is the founder and CEO of Teach Us Consent.Credit:Liliana Zaharia

ANROWS researcher Dr. Nicole Weeks said attitudes about family violence could be headed in the wrong direction due to the sheer volume of misinformation circulating.

“We definitely saw that around the Johnny Deep/Amber Heard case: active disinformation as to who perpetrates the violence and who lives it,” he said.

There was a need to dismantle the social drivers that made men more likely to perpetrate domestic violence, including “pressure on them to be sexually aggressive, assertive and in control of relationships, and other rigid gender stereotypes.”

Gallagher said the data showed some progress in attitudes towards gender equality, but “there are still too many people in Australia with attitudes that entrench inequality and discrimination.”

Federal Minister for Women Katy Gallagher says there are still too many people with attitudes that entrench inequality and discrimination.

Federal Minister for Women Katy Gallagher says there are still too many people with attitudes that entrench inequality and discrimination.Credit:rhett wyman

“This research also shows once again that attitudes toward gender inequality were the strongest significant predictor of attitudes toward violence against women,” Gallagher said.

Fitz-Gibbon, director of Monash’s Center for the Prevention of Family and Gender-Based Violence, said excuses for lack of consent, such as an inability to control sexual urges, must be addressed.

“This data clearly shows us that despite the national conversation led by advocates like tales of chanel and grace tamethere is still a lot of work to be done to educate all Australians about consent,” he said.


University of Melbourne sexual harassment and violence researcher Dr Bianca Fileborn said it was disappointing to see so little improvement after #MeToo and women’s safety activism, but a backlash could signal progress.

“We know that the structural drivers of gender-based violence are deeply embedded… There may also be backlash to successful feminist campaigns, so we may be seeing this reflected in these findings.”

“There are longstanding ideas that women are untrustworthy, manipulative, revenge-driven, prone to exaggeration…and this continues to inform how some members of the community view women’s accounts of violence. gender, and we can clearly see that in the survey results.”

ANROWS was established as an initiative of Australia’s first National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 by the federal, state and territory governments.

The National Survey of Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women is a representative survey of community understanding of violence against women, established as a key means of monitoring progress of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. Respondents were over 16 years of age and were contacted by telephone.

Support is available from National Counseling Service for Domestic Family Violence, Sexual Assault at 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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