Victorian young women continue to feel unsafe in public spaces even as violence against women remains at the forefront of public discourse.

The persistence of gender inequality and violence against women within Australia has galvanised public debate and activism. The appointment of outspoken advocate for survivors of sexual assault Grace Tame as Australian of the Year, and several allegations of sexual assault occurring in Parliament House, have increased attention on women’s safety and gender inequality within politics and the broader Australian community. 

This report focuses on young women’s experiences and perceptions of safety in public spaces. The report centres the recommendations made by 131 respondents to YACVic’s 2020 survey. The report clearly shows what needs to be done to ensure young women are safe in public spaces. The survey found that the most popular solutions for improving safety are: 

  • better initial education and re-education for boys and men 

  • the meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience of gender-based discrimination in decision-making around policies and legislation to eradicate gender-based discrimination. 

This report is one part of YACVic’s work on our key policy priority of gender equity. We recognise that gender-based discrimination is experienced by all people from marginalised genders, including young women, girls, gender non-conforming people and trans people.

We will continue to work in partnership with other leaders in the youth sector and gender equality sector, to ensure young people with lived experience of gender-based discrimination are able to contribute to the solutions to improve gender equity for everyone.