New Stop It At Start Campaign Launches

Dept of Social Services

The Albanese Government is today launching a new phase of the award-winning, evidence-based Stop it at the Start campaign.

The Hidden Trends of Disrespect aims to educate parents and care givers of young people aged 10-17 years about the new and hidden forms of disrespect young people are engaging with every day online.

Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth said parents and carers are often unaware of these new forms of disrespect and their links to violence against women.

“New research shows there is a growing echo-chamber of disrespect online with influencers targeting young boys with misogynistic content.

“Parents and other adults with young people in their lives can’t always know everything that kids are seeing online, but we can take steps to educate ourselves on what they are seeing and hearing and help young people to recognise and deal with harmful online content.

“We can’t let these misogynistic voices go unchallenged. This campaign will counter these voices in the social media spaces where they are being viewed, like Snapchat, Meta and TikTok,” Minister Rishworth said.

Key to the campaign is the Algorithm of Disrespect™, an interactive tool simulating the average young Australian’s social media feed to demonstrate to adults the disrespectful content and influences young people are exposed to every day online.

The Algorithm of Disrespect™ is available on the website www.respect.gov.au along with conversation guides which will help adults to have meaningful discussions with young people. They are available in Easy Read and translated languages.

Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Justine Elliot reiterated how important it is to counter-influence corrosive online content.

“Research tells us that 25 per cent of teenage boys in Australia look up to social media personalities who perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes and condone violence against women,” Assistant Minister Elliot said.

“The Stop it at the Start campaign has had a positive impact since its launch in 2016, and this new phase, which addresses the harmful misogyny occurring both online and offline, is a critical and timely evolution.”

The campaign was informed by extensive research and an expert stakeholder panel including leading academics and family, domestic and sexual violence experts.

Expert panel member and Wiradjuri woman, Dr BJ Newton, from the University of New South Wales said that we are only beginning to scratch the surface in understanding the insidious and harmful nature of social media and its extent of influence particularly over the developing mind of adolescents and teenagers.

“These resources spotlight the way social media potentially exposes young people to toxic masculinity, and breeds a culture of male dominance, misogyny and acceptable attitudes to violence against women.”

Shaynna Blaze, Campaign Ambassador and Co-founder and Creative Director of Voice of Change said the time is overdue for us to stand up as a community and stop sweeping violence against women under the rug.

“Not calling out the small things, like a seemingly harmless joke here and there, can lead to really problematic behaviour if it’s not stopped at the start.

“We can all play a part to teach our young people, and teach ourselves, where the line is drawn between respectful and disrespectful behaviour. Then, we can be a lot more aware of when we can call it out before it turns into violence,” Ms Blaze said.

Gus Worland, media personality and Campaign Ambassador said: “As adults, parents and carers we need to be vulnerable and brave ourselves, in order to have tough conversations with children.”

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said there is no one-size-fits-all solution for addressing violence against women, but we know the signs and we need to start shaping attitudes well before they manifest in harmful actions.

“Research and the experience of frontline workers and community leaders shows that action is needed at every level of society to prevent men’s violence against women and drive meaningful change. That starts and needs to be grounded in the conversations we have at home and in our communities.”

The Stop it at the Start campaign will be shown across television, online video, social media and cinema from today until May 2025.

This new phase complements the recently launched consent campaign, to help reduce the incidence of sexual violence in Australia by improving community understanding and attitudes on consent and respectful relationships.

Stop it at the Start is a key primary prevention initiative under National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children. Population-wide initiatives to improve community attitudes are part of a multi-pronged approach across the prevention, early intervention, response, and recovery and healing domains of the National Plan to end gender-based violence in a generation.

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