The call has gone out to Brimbank men to help make the municipality safer for women.

With police statistics showing family incidents in Brimbank increasing by 16.1 per cent in the year to March – up from 2333 to 2709 – local groups are hoping male leaders will come together to improve attitudes towards women within their local communities.

Working Together With Men project manager Cuong La said there was a “great gender inequality between men and women in Brimbank” that needed to be addressed urgently.

“Brimbank is a municipality with high levels of socio-economic disadvantage and gender inequality,” he said.

“Both are strong predictors of violence by men against women.

“Women of Brimbank are less likely to be employed. Housing stress is likely to have significant impact for women on lower incomes, particularly single-parent households.”

Mr La said a 2013 Women’s Health West study revealed that Brimbank women felt less safe than in any other area in the region.

“This includes feeling unsafe when walking alone during the day or night in their local area and feeling unsafe at home alone during the day or night,” he said.

He hoped to sign up 100 men for two information sessions to be held on July 26 and August 4, at the Visy Cares Hub in Sunshine.

He hopes to also hold several follow-up sessions throughout August.

The forums will also bust several myths about violence against women.

“The most common myths are that violence against women is caused by alcohol and drugs, a man’s violent upbringing, living in poverty, anger management problems or mental health problems,” Mr La said.

Register at www.healthwest.org.au