We are going to focus on the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in this paper. The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion is a document which was adopted on 17-21 November, 1986 in Ottawa, Canada. One of the main decisions of the conference was to help people all over the world to achieve the ‘health for All’ till 2000. The three basic health promotion strategies: advocate, enable and mediate have been defined in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. The five main action areas were introduced there: building healthy public policy; creating supportive environments; strengthening community action; developing personal skills; and reorienting health services. The area of strengthening community action will be applied to intimate partner domestic violence against Australian women, and an example given of how Australia is addressing this issue. (Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion).
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Strengthening community action in the area of domestic violence against Australian women is one of the greatest decisions which are provided now in the Australian society. The Ottawa Charter directed the attention of Australian government to the problem, to set priorities, to plan strategies and implement them to achieve better health in the society. The document proclaimed that the main sources and fundamental conditions of health are peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable eco-system, sustainable resources, social justice, and equity (Crisp, Potter 2005).
We are inclined to think that domestic violence against women is one of the most painful problems in Australian society. Domestic violence is a problem which needs quick solutions, as the consequences of inactivity may be unpredictable for the whole society.
The problem of domestic violence was hidden for many years, and the women’s refuge movement had spent a lot of time to influence the public and make it recognize the problem of men violence against women in Australia. One of the main strategies which had been made by the Australian government was the criminalization of domestic violence. This helps to control the cases and prevent them in some cases (Bahun-Radunović & Rajan 2008).
Domestic violence against women is a great social problem, which needs solution as soon as possible. Australian police gives such statistics: 6% of Australian women are abused by their current partners, and 35% were abused by their previous partners. The increased cases of homicides were the reasons of increase of the cases of domestic violence against women (Alexander & Seddon 2002) Research shows that 23% of all Australian women have been attacked by a partner or family member. ‘Women are subjected to violence daily, if not hourly, if not by the minute’ (Bhandari 2003).
Some other Australian researches made a conclusion that domestic violence and employment are closely interconnected. Some researches have demonstrated the fact that women who have low paid jobs, who are dependant on their husbands, who have lower skills are more frequently abused than those who do not depend on their husbands financially and mentally (Costello & Donna 2005).
These researches are very important in the case of strengthening community action in relation to domestic violence against Australian women. These studies allow government and organizations, which aimed to protect women form violence, to construct plans and provide some actions in reference to women protection. To cope with the problem of women violence, the structures of all society should be involved. Only when the community actions will be strengthened and united, the result will be achieved. Australia government has already started the work in this direction and some results may be seen.
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Australian government continues to develop different programs to protect women from violence. The most significant steps were provided in 1990s, when Australian government had adopted more policy initiatives to stop domestic violence than any other democratic country. The educational program ‘Stop Violence against Women’ was created in 1992. The new strategy concerning this problem was launched in 1993. This strategy is known as The National Strategy on Violence against Women (Weldon 2002).
The confirmation for the fact that the Australian community provides some actions to protect women was the conference named ‘Violence against Filipino Women: A Government and Community Responsibility’. The conference held on 6 – 7 October, 1994. The problems and the ways to solve them in relation to abuse and violence against Filipino women were discussed there. The conference was sponsored by government and it confirms that the problem is the consideration of the government (Jupp 2001).
Besides, there are a lot of International Organizations aimed to follow and secure the actions of governments in different countries, with the purpose to maintain law and order in the countries where violence against women exists (McCue 2007). These international organizations will provide any country with help.
The appearance of all those organizations, either local or international, says that the society is ready to talk about the problem, that the society is ready to give all possible information, advice and protection in any case. Women should feel that they are not alone, that the society is ready help.
Australian government provided lots of reforms, both legal and procedural. The Australian community is strengthened by advertizing campaigns, support groups, advice lines, Federal and State Legislation. All these changes were provoked by the Ottawa Charter, where it was declared, that the actions of community play the main role dealing with the problems like violence against women. The effective action of the community may enhance social support and strengthen the participation of public in the cases like that.
The government and community provide lots of initiatives, which involve two main themes, human rights and damaging masculinities. The state and federal actions include researches, which are aimed to get more information about domestic violence and use it on practice to provide strategies to prevent violence against women in Australia. Government provides lots of educational programs to children and youth, such as Workshops for Young People Project, the Young Women’s Relationships Pilot Project and others. A lot of attention is paid to practice (Crisis Intervention in Aboriginal Family Violence in Western Australia, Domestic Violence Training for Rural Health Professionals in Tasmania). Government also focuses on infrastructure (Domestic and Criminal Violence History of Immigration Sponsors by the Dept. of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs). (Summers & Hoffman, 2002).
The feminist organizations and researches that deal with this problem insist that the punishment for men who dared to direct violence against women should be strict and severe. Women often do not leave their husbands as they are afraid to be bitten more after leaving, and they continue to live in constant fear. Women should know that the community will help them to cope with the problem of domestic violence, and government tries to insert this information in the minds of women, that may come for help in any department of the police, that they may turn for help in any feminist organization to protect their right for free life.
In sum, the problem of violence of men against women is one of the main considerations of Australian government. Australian government has already started to strengthen its actions to protect women from men violence. Australian community tries to create more and more developed programs to protect women, and the work, which has already been done, confirms the intentions of the government in action. Women will never be able to lead a normal life till they are afraid of men’s abuse. Australian government tries to do all they can to help women who appear under the men’s abuse. Government finances the social activities which aimed to provide women with information, it supports the appearance of feminist organizations which can help jurisdictionally and give some financial support.
- Alexander, R & Seddon, N 2002, Domestic violence in Australia: the legal response, Federation Press.
- Bahun-Radunović, S, & Rajan VGJ 2008, Violence and Gender in the Globalized World: The Intimate and the Extimate, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
- Bhandari, N 2003, Aboriginal Violence against Women. Contemporary Review.
- Costello, M, Donna, C, & Ed Carson 2005, Exploring Alternative Pathways out of Poverty: Making Connections between Domestic Violence and Employment Crisp, J, Potter, PA, Perry, AG, & Taylor, C 2005, Potter and Perry’s fundamentals of nursing, Elsevier Australia.
- Jupp, J 2001, The Australian people: an encyclopedia of the nation, its people, and their origins, Cambridge University Press
- McCue, ML 2007, Domestic violence: a reference handbook, ABC-CLIO.
- Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Online.
- Practices, Australian Journal of Social Issues 40, no. 2
- Summers, RW, & Hoffman AM 2002, Domestic violence: a global view, Greenwood Publishing Group.
- Weldon, SL 2002, Protest, policy, and the problem of violence against women: a cross-national comparison, Univ of Pittsburgh Press,