The City of Melbourne has released a draft strategy for the prevention of violence against women – the first Australian City to do so. The Council signed up to the White Ribbon campaign last year but wasn’t content to stop there. The strategy recognises that this is not just, or even primarily, the City’s responsibility. Rather, it takes a facilitative approach across the community’s efforts for intensified impact. But it is certainly aiming to get its own house in order. Some of the local government actions include:
- the identification and creation of safe places for women in the city that are available during the day, late at night, on weekends and during major events
- encouraging staff to take part in an innovative Bystander Intervention Pilot Project run by VicHealth
- improving support for City of Melbourne staff who are victims of violence
- completing a gender equity audit of City of Melbourne policies, procedures, services and programs
- advocating for affordable, crisis and long-term accommodation for women and children.