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Record boost to prevention and consent initiatives

Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert

The Morrison Government will invest an additional $189 million over five years to strengthen prevention and early intervention efforts in family, domestic and sexual violence.

With a strong focus on the issue of consent, the package includes:

  • $104 million over five years for the leading primary prevention organisation Our Watch, representing about a 65 per cent increase on annualised funding
  • $48 million for a new campaign that focuses on confronting the attitudes and expectations of some men which can condone or excuse violence
  • $32 million for a consent campaign focusing on young people 12 and older and their parents, building on $10.7 million already allocated in the 2021-22 Budget for this campaign
  • $5 million to develop a survey of secondary school-age students on issues related to consent.

This initial investment will form part of the Commonwealth’s commitment to the First Action Plan 2022-2027, under the next National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, which is currently being finalised with states and territories following the public comment process which concluded on 25 February 2022.

Senator Sarah Henderson said through this package, we would help address the underlying drivers of gendered violence – in particular sexual violence. This includes attitudes and behaviours that excuse, justify and even promote violence against women.

“The Morrison Government was investing a total of $91 million to develop and deliver two new national campaigns to make sure that crucial messages about consent are heard in every home around Australia to ensure we are all empowered to have conversations with young people, family and friends about this important issue,” Senator Henderson said.

“The funding boost is good news for women as the only way we will end gendered violence is to focus efforts on preventing it from happening in the first place.

“The consent campaign – aimed at encouraging adults to talk to young people in their lives about the importance of consensual and respectful relationships will run across media channels including television, cinema, social media and bus stops across the country.

“This campaign will help equip parents with tools to have conversations with young people over 12 about consensual and respectful relationships through a suite of online resources so that kids in the community grow up understanding the concept of consent and respect.”

Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said almost nine in 10 Australians agree ‘adults should talk to young people more about the topic of consent’ but almost half of Australians were confused about the issue of sexual consent which leads them to actively avoid the topic.

“Drawing on the success of campaigns such as Scotland’s Don’t Be That Guy, a second campaign would ask men to consider how they can hold each other to account because sexual violence should not be considered a women’s problem to solve,” Minister Ruston said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said Our Watch has played an important leadership role in coordinating prevention activities across the country. This investment, which is the largest ever made in the organisation, will help to expand its role as a trusted source of training and advice and a national centre of excellence on prevention.

“The organisation will be better placed to deliver on its priorities, including helping to drive change in the corporate sector, providing campaigns and resources that raise awareness about gendered violence, and developing safety programmes to be used in key settings such as TAFEs, universities, the media, workplaces and sports organisations,” Minister Payne said.

“Our Watch will also boost its efforts in prevention for LGBTIQA+ Australians, Australians with disability and migrant women and develop further resources to educate young people about consent.”

Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert said Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and National Children’s Commissioner Anne Hollonds would undertake a survey of secondary school-age students on issues related to consent.

“We are providing the Australian Human Rights Commission $5 million to develop the survey in partnership with Chanel Contos, founder of Teach Us Consent,” Acting Minister Robert said.

“A baseline survey in 2022 will provide a world-leading data set, and support meaningful and practical advice for teachers and officials as they work to implement the recent decision of Education Ministers to strengthen consent and respectful relationships education in the Australian Curriculum.

“It will also further inform the Government’s work on respectful relationships and national prevention strategies on a range of issues.”

These measures respond to significant stakeholder feedback during the 18-month consultation for the next National Plan – to increase investment in prevention including public campaigns on respectful relationships and consent, and to work with men before they perpetrate and offer pathways to support.

A report released today contains the findings of the nation-wide research commissioned by the Morrison Government to inform the consent campaign.

The research conducted by Kantar Public found that while there is widespread recognition that sexual consent needs to be addressed among young Australians, adults largely avoid the topic due to concerns that they are not on the same page.

Half of all Australians (48 per cent) are conflicted in their understanding of the problem and lack confidence in their ability to define consent.

Positively, the research also found that there is a strong desire for clarity and leadership on the issue, with close to nine in ten (86 per cent) agreeing adults should talk to young people more about the topic of consent.  To read the report visit the Department of Social Services website.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or

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