Latest ANROWS research shines light on community attitudes towards violence against women

The 2021 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) released today reaffirms why the Albanese Labor Government’s continued commitment to ending gender-based violence is a priority.

The release of NCAS data demonstrates that although some progress is being made on attitudes towards gender equality, too many people still hold attitudes that entrench inequality and discrimination.

The 2021 NCAS found that while most Australians (91 per cent) recognised that violence against women was a problem in Australia, only 47 per cent recognised that this was a problem in their suburb or town.

They also highlighted that one in ten people still think that men should take control in relationships and be the head of the household; almost one in ten still believe that men make more capable bosses than women in the workplace; and that one in ten agree with the statement that, on the whole, men make better political leaders than women.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said gaining insight into Australia’s attitudes and beliefs towards violence against women is vital to achieving a violence free future.

“Research like this helps us identify where there may be gaps in our understanding and where we need to focus our efforts on as a society when it comes to the important issues of family, domestic and sexual violence,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Ending violence against women and children is everybody’s responsibility and everybody’s business. By all pulling in the same direction we must all work together to achieve our shared vision under theNational Plan – to end gender-based violence in one generation,” Minister Rishworth said.

“A key piece in ending violence against women and children is addressing the attitudes that can support it. This includes attitudes that deny gender equality, that seek to limit women’s autonomy in relationships and that objectify women and disregard consent.”

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher said this data only highlights the importance of the over $7 billion investment in Labor’s first Budget to drive gender equality.

“This data echoes many of the statistics the Government released in Australia’s first Status of Women Report Card and shows that while we are making some gains on gender equality, we are not there yet and, in some aspects of women’s lives, progress has stalled,” Minister Gallagher said.

“These findings highlight the necessity of continued investment in education programs like our consent campaign ($32.2m), our Respectful Relationships Education Program ($83.5m) and Stop it at the Start ($55.3m), which all aim to prevent violence before it begins and support young people to develop safe and healthy relationships.”

Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Justine Elliot said NCAS highlighted “more work needs to be done”.

“Our commitment of $83.5 million for the Respectful Relationships Education Program, including age‑appropriate education for primary and secondary school students, will help foster a shared understanding of consent and promote respectful and healthy relationships,” Assistant Minister Elliot said.

“The National Plan recognises that this is a community-wide issue and that more is needed to build awareness and understanding of sexual violence across all ages and in all contexts.

“To address this, the National Plan commits to working with states and territories to promote nationally consistent definitions as well as ensuring the availability of education and training resources across the community.”

More information on the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022‑2023 is available on the Department of Social Services website.

More information about the 2021 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey is available on the Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety website.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit