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Are Media lobbies against Coercive Control in new Activist Agenda campaign

Are Media has launched the third iteration of its Activist Agenda, a campaign pushing for governments to introduce a nationally consistent offence known as Coercive Control.

Coercive Control is non-physical domestic abuse where the perpetrator uses emotional, psychological and other non-physical abuse to intimidate and control their partner, and this latest iteration of the campaign was developed by Are Media’s commercial insights, content and marketing division Story54.

Nicole Byers, Nithya Reddy, Jess Hill, Karen Williams, Nicky Bridger and Hayley Foster

Are Media has build a coalition of significant women’s groups and legal advocates to lobby State and Territory governments to criminalise Coercive Control, which is associated with 99% of cases where a woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner.

Spearheaded by The Australian Women’s Weekly and Marie Claire, together with 40 of Are Media’s leading brands, the coalition includes White Ribbon, Small Steps for Hannah, Women’s Safety NSW, Queensland Women’s Legal Service and journalist and author of ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, Jess Hill

CEO Brendon Hill said Are Media brands will help to educated and inform audiences over the next six months with the aim of ending violence towards women.

“Our first two Activist Agenda campaigns have both driven significant legislative change for women of all ages across Australia. Now we are taking on the unacceptable practice of coercive control which is the root cause of serious injury and murder of women across the country,” Hill said.

“Over the coming six months our leading brands will help educate and inform our audiences and, together with our coalition partners, lobby State and Territory ministers to make meaningful changes and end violence towards women.”

Story54 has created an advertising campaign called ‘Join The Dots’, aiming to drive education and encourage readers to sign a petition calling on laws to change, with ads running across Are Media’s women’s brands, as well as specific ads targeting men across its auto division.

Story 54 general manager Jane Waterhouse said; “Our brands are well placed to drive understanding and awareness of such a complex issue and through our magazines we have the ideal environment to share these harrowing stories and spark an in-depth conversation with our audiences.”

The launch of the campaign took place in Sydney at the head office of Women’s Safety NSW on Tuesday (October 13).

Join The Dots [click to enlarge]

The coalition is posting for states and territories to criminalise coercive control by the end of 2021, as well as put in a consultation period and guarantee police and trained and effectively able to enforce the law.

Marie Claire editor Nicky Briger said the media group is aiming to hold lawmakers to account over the issue until laws are changed.

“Importantly our nine million readers will be left in no doubt where the federal government and each state and territory government stands on the issue. We will be holding our lawmakers to account until the law is introduced,” she said.

The latest Activist Agenda campaign follows the 2019 ‘Stop Elder Financial Abuse’ campaign, which, in partnership with the Australian Banking Association, successfully secured agreement from governments to establish baseline minimum standards for Power of Attorneys and to create a mandatory national online register.

2018’s ‘No Gender Selective Tax’ campaign helped push the Federal Government to agree to the removal GST on women’s sanitary products.

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