Starts With Us Reports

'A deeply sexist, racist, ableist and homophobic sector'

The Starts With Us reports outline a clear and urgent need to transform Victoria’s justice and legal system in order to contribute to the prevention of men’s violence against women.

Asked where I am from regularly. Not being allowed in Court room early and asked to wait with clients once due to racial profiling. Bench mispronounces my name despite weekly appearances before them. Waiting to be called for hours due to senior lawyers being prioritised. Being spoken down to or patronised due to gender or being exposed to sexism.”

We have gathered the stories of hundreds of people working in the legal sector and found that women are frequently discriminated, bullied and harassed at work and go without adequate support.

This research demonstrates our courts and legal offices across community, public and private sectors overwhelmingly favour white cisgender men at the expense of women. Our latest research shows women of colour, women who have a disability or mental illness, women from a low-class background, transwomen, older women and LGBTIQ+ women experience more frequent or more severe discrimination.

More than half of the people who took part in our research observed discrimination in their workplaces and almost half reported considering leaving the sector.

We know that we can stop violence before it starts. To do this, women must be equal to men across our whole community, and this includes within the legal and justice sector.

This project is funded by the Victorian Government as part of the Free From Violence strategy and is part of a state-wide coordinated effort to prevent violence against women. We thank our Steering Committee and Consortium Partners who continue to collaborate with us on this work.