National Summit on Women’s Safety: AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw says older men need to change
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National Summit on Women’s Safety: AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw says older men need to change

Australia’s top cop says that older men need to change their behaviour to women – but he has a completely different view about younger males.

The nation’s top cop has said men need to change if the nation is going to make any progress on women’s safety.

Addressing the National Summit on Women’s Safety, AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said we could no longer accept older generations’ behaviour.

“Men need to change, you know, put simply,” he said.

“We need to make sure that we are living those values and actually behaving in an appropriate way.

Two in five assaults reported nationally in 2020 were family and domestic violence related.

Nationwide, that figure rose 13 per cent in 2020 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

More than 2.2 million women and 718,000 men aged 18 years and over have experienced sexual violence in lifetime.

Campaigns focussed on educating men and changing their behaviours are critical to stamping out unsafe conduct, Mr Kershaw said.

“Men’s campaigns in particular … are a key to changing the way men in particular are educated, and understand that it’s wrong,” he said.

“I do have faith in our younger men coming through, I think there‘s some good signs there.

“I think there’s a difference there with the older men at the moment.”

He encouraged the community to not shy away from the issue and call people out when they’re in the wrong.

“When we start talking about this incredibly important issue, don‘t turn down the radio. Don’t walk away from the TV. One of the best forms of protection and prevention is education,” Mr Kershaw said.

“We need to be honest brokers if we want to make significant inroads into protecting women and children.

“For example, some perpetrators may think they‘re not doing anything wrong.”

The AFP Commissioner also called for greater information sharing between departments and agencies to ensure victims were able to flee abusive homes safely.

“Information kept in silos does not help women, children and others who need our protection. We need to consider privacy,” he said.

“But being truly connected will help law enforcement agencies share critical information to help protect the vulnerable.”

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