In the lead up to 16 days of activism - the world-wide annual campaign to end violence against women which begins this Thursday - the Campaspe community is raising awareness to confront the realities of gender equality.
Campaspe Primary Care Partnership has partnered with Echuca Regional Health, Campaspe Shire Council, Women's Health Loddon Mallee and Kyabram District Health Service to deliver a two-part animation series depicting gender imbalance in an every-day setting.
The animations - which were developed after researching the local community to better understand the lived experience of gender and inequity beliefs, attitude and values - address behaviour in a common social environment and healthy masculinity.
Campaspe Primary Care Partnership executive officer Emmal Brentnall said the virtual campaign is an effort from the partnered organisations to educate the local community and break down long-standing stereotypes.
"One in three women have experienced violence and we know that gender equality is the key driver of violence against women," she said.
Read more: St Peters School set for $1.4m upgrade
The research conducted for the animation examined the where inequality existed in roles and responsibilities in different settings, and how or if people spoke up about the inequality and why they responded the way they responded.
"It aims to demonstrate where and when gender inequity can arise in our day to day lives and the necessity to call out inappropriate comments and beliefs at a grass roots level that can be a precursor to violent behaviours," Ms Brentnall said.
Ms Brentnall said this year in the Campaspe region alone family violence reports rose by 7.3 per cent - from 728 incidents in 2019-20 to 781 in 2020-21 - meaning COVID-19 has significantly heightened the risk of violence against women in all forms.
"For women already impacted, the pandemic has meant a greater probability of the violence escalating; for those not previously affected, they are more likely to encounter violence for the first time," she said.
"The gender equality message has therefore never been more relevant, and our new campaign is both timely and important."
The animations will be officially unveiled at a Women's Health Loddon Mallee Bystander Action Panel - Real World Responses to Gender Inequality event on Thursday at 10am.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.