House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence
In our recent submission to the Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence we drew attention to some of the broader issues which influence, drive, and reinforce violence against women and children.
We said that it is inconsistent to aim to reduce men’s violence through addressing gender inequality, while the objectification and sexualisation of women in advertising, marketing, media and pornography continue to undermine progress toward achieving desired goals.
We made 18 recommendations including that the Committee:
- acknowledge the role of pornography and sexual objectification in violence against women and children
- revisit its 2011 report and recommendations which put the advertising industry on notice and hold it to account for nine years of non-action
- support a co-regulatory advertising industry complaints-handling system with powers of enforcement and powers to issue appropriate financial penalties for any company which objectifies and sexualises women in advertising and marketing
- support age verification as a strategy to minimise porn exposure to children
- Support an investigation of the Classification Board assigning M or MA15+ ratings to anime and manga genres and classification of other movies featuring Child Sexual Abuse Material contrary to Australian law
- provide comprehensive education about the harms of pornography for school communities
- provide and fund specialist treatment clinics for anyone harmed by the pornography consumption of another person
- support school and community education programs which address the harms of technology-facilitated abuse
- Support the shut-down of Pornhub (and other platforms) which hosts and profits from image-based abuse
- address pornography use in intervention programs and support services for men who perpetrate violence
- acknowledge that pornography is a driver of violence in Indigenous and CALD communities and culturally appropriate strategies be developed and funded to tackle it
- acknowledge the increased role of pornography in harming women and children during the COVID-19 lockdown and consider measures to prevent further harms given the likelihood of further pandemic-related lockdowns
We urged the Committee to acknowledge the role of pornography as a driver and contributor to violence against women and their children and recommended its inclusion in the updated National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children.
Read the submission here.
See our full list of submissions here.