A hard-hitting Western Australian marketing campaign targeting male perpetrators of domestic violence has won both the Premier’s Award for Innovation and the overall Premier’s Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management.
Women’s Interests Minister Rhonda Parker said the Freedom from Fear campaign represented a major change in direction for the prevention of domestic abuse in that it targeted the perpetrator.
“Television, press and radio advertisements urge the perpetrators of family violence to voluntarily seek the counselling and support they need to stop abusing their partners and children,” Mrs Parker said.
“The advertisements graphically portray the emotionally traumatic effects on children who are unwilling witnesses to domestic violence.
“The main benefit has been in homes around the State where, as a result of the campaign, more than 750 men have undertaken counselling to deal with their violence against their partners or children.
“Since the start of the campaign in August last year, more than 3,600 men contacted the Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline, with more than 63 per cent of them in the primary target group.
“About half the callers were referred to men’s behaviour change counselling programs.”
Mrs Parker said many men had been motivated to seek help when they realised, often for the first time, the terrible effect domestic violence had on their children.
“An independent evaluation of the campaign found a significant increase in awareness of the services available to help families deal with domestic violence,” she said.
“The evaluation found that as a result of the campaign, the proportion of men who are aware of where help can be sought for violent behaviour increased from 21 per cent to 52 per cent.
“The proportion of men who were aware of a telephone counselling line for men who are, or could be violent, increased from 20 per cent to 69 per cent.
“The evaluation found the campaign has resulted in favourable temporary changes in some beliefs of the target audience which will hopefully lead to shifts in longer term attitudes and behaviour.
“This was attributed to the campaign’s success in reaching the target audience and effectively communicating the two key messages about the effect of domestic violence on children and the fact that help is available.
“The Government’s is committed to tackling the issue of domestic violence as part of its Safer WA strategy.”
The Minister said the campaign had also won two other prestigious awards.
The first was a combined Novelli award for both innovation and excellence at the recent international Innovations in Social Marketing Conference in Montreal, Canada and the other an award for marketing excellence at the inaugural Australian Marketing Institute Public Sector Marketing Conference in Perth.
The Men’s Domestic Violence Help Line can be contacted on 1800 000 599.
Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810