The Line is Australia’s long-term social marketing initiative for young people to prevent violence against women and their children.
Since 2014, Our Watch has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services to deliver The Line under the National Action Plan for the Prevention of Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 with $1.5 million, per year, over five years.
The Line supports young people to develop respectful and equal peer and intimate relationships and to reject all forms of violence, including the attitudes that excuse, trivialise and minimise violence towards women. It aims to support young people to have conversations about what’s ok and what’s not ok when it comes to relationships.
The Line is delivered using social media, content marketing, public relations, advertising and content formats that most resonate with young people, and through working with ambassadors and partner organisations. The Line promotes gender equality by addressing the gendered drivers of violence against women outlined in Change the story: a shared framework for the prevention of violence against women and their children.
Our Watch research conducted in 2014, identified that young people were struggling to work out what respectful relationships look like. The significant influence of social media, pornography and porn-inspired popular culture, were found to be poor preparation for young people learning to negotiate sexual relationships.
Tracking research, released in June 2018, found that The Line is a well-recognised and well-regarded campaign with young people and parents alike. 18% of young people and 19% of parents recall the brand without prompting.
Those who recognised the campaign were more likely (28%) to have recently talked to someone else about what makes relationships healthy, non-abusive or respectful; compared to 17% for those who had not seen the campaign.
Promising trends for young people from the tracking research since 2015 include:
• 75% disagree that if a girl wears revealing clothing she is partly responsible for unwanted sex, up from 71%.
• 73% disagree that if a girl is drunk or affected by drugs, she is at least partly responsible for unwanted sex, up from 67%.
• 64% believe screaming at someone or saying hurtful things is a form of violence, up from 58%.
In 2018/19 the campaign is expanding to include a component supporting young people to critique pornography. A separate content marketing component will improve engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and migrant and refugee young people.