As a country we ought to be concerned about the level or the tolerance of violence that exists in our communities that is contributing to all kinds of crimes but particularly crimes against women.”
Although the vast majority of Australian men are not perpetrators of violence against women, Ms Nancarrow says some men participate in a culture of hyper-masculinity where they feel the need to exert their power – sometimes by violent means.
“You need to look at cultural links, the very broad culture in Australia of continuing acceptance of male superiority and women being objectified, men feeling like they have an almost right to assert authority over women.”
One of the real challenges in breaking those cultural barriers is encouraging women to report incidents of sexual and physical assault. The dilemma many women face is the lack of support or witnesses that are able to back up their claims.