‘The Line’ is the Australian Government’s social media campaign that aims to ‘challenge attitudes and behaviours that support violence against women’. It has recently been relaunched after its first five years of operation.
New research, commissioned by Our Watch and carried out by
Hall and Partners at Open Mind, has informed the revamped ‘The Line’ website
and Facebook page, and will build on the good work that has been achieved in
this campaign in the past five years.
The research was overseen by Natasha
Stott Despoja and surveyed 3,000 people. It found that young people still
desperately need to know what a normal, healthy, respectful relationship looks
like. Part of the problem seems to be that social media, which plays such a
central role in most young people’s lives, allows previously unacceptable
behaviours to be more easily carried out online. And parents are not discussing
the issue sufficiently with their young people either.
Gender stereotypes are still a strong influence on
behaviour. Some surprising findings are that one in three young people ‘don’t
think that exerting control over someone else is a form of violence’, and that
one in four young people ‘don’t think it’s serious if a guy, who’s normally
gentle, sometimes slaps his girlfriend when he’s drunk and they’re arguing’.