Violence against women : primary prevention

Clearinghouse Connector – April 2015


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Over the past decade a growing body of work has developed exploring strategies to support the primary prevention of violence against women. Evidence tells us that where countries are more equitable there tends to be lower rates of such violence.

Primary prevention means working across society as a whole to change the structures and social norms that enable violence against women to occur. These include :

In Victoria, promising work towards achieving these goals has already been piloted in schools and workplaces, though it remains a significant challenge to mitigate the impact of the way women are represented in media.. This Connector features a selection of key primary prevention resources – spanning health promotion, promising practice, policy and strategy documents, and related websites.


Health promotion approaches

Reflecting on primary prevention of violence against women : the public health approach ACSSA Issues, 2014

Health and the primary prevention of violence against women : a position paper Australian Women’s Health Network (AWHN), 2014

Coordinated public health initiatives and partnerships to address violence against women and adolescents Journal of Women’s Health, 2014

From work with men and boys to changing social norms and reducing inequities in gender relations : a paradigm shift in prevention of violence against wome and girls The Lancet Series on Violence Against Women and Girls, 2014


Promising practice

Preventing violence against women : community of practice reflections : promoting respectful relationships and gender equality [Managing difficult conversations] Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), 2014

Less to lose and more to gain? : Men and Boys Violence Prevention Research Project final report University of Western Sydney, 2014

Evaluation capacity building in the Respect, Responsibility and Equality program : report on Stage 1 (2008–2010) Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), 2013

The Respect, Responsibility and Equality Program : a summary report on five projects that build new knowledge to prevent violence against women Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), 2012

Everyone’s business : a guide to developing workplace programs for the primary prevention of violence against women Women’s Health Victoria, 2012

What is effective primary prevention in sexual assault? : translating the evidence for action ACSSA Wrap, 2012

What works to prevent partner violence : an evidence overview London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. STRIVE Research Consortium, 2011

Respectful relationships education : violence prevention and respectful relationships in Victorian schools/a> Victoria. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2009

Prevention of violence against women in the Eastern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne Women’s Helath East, 2011


Victorian policy and strategy

Victoria’s action plan to address violence against women and girls 2012-2015 Victoria. Department of Health, 2012

Preventing violence before it occurs : a framework and background paper to guide the primary prevention of violence against women in Victoria Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealthl, 2007

Together for equality and respect : a strategy to prevent violence against women in Melbourne’s East 2013-2017 Women’s Health East, 2013


Australian policy and strategy

Second action plan 2013-2016 : moving ahead : of the National plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2012-2022 Australia. Department of Social Services, 2014

National plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2010-2022 Australia. Department of Social Services, 2010

Time for action : the National Council’s plan for Australia to reduce violence against women and their children, 2009-2021 Australia. National Council to Reduce Vioence Agaisnt Women and Their Children, 2009


International policy and strategy

(How) Can we reduce violence against women by 50% over the next 30 years? PLOS Medicine, 2014

Why do some men use violence against women and how can we prevent it? : quantitative findings from the UN multi-country study on men and violence in Asia and the Pacific United Nations, 2013

Preventing intimate partner and sexual violence atainst women : taking action and generating evidence London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2010

Ending violence against women and girls : UNIIFEM strategy and information kit UN Women, 2010

Violence prevention : the evidence : promoting gender equality to prevent violence against women World Health Organization. 2009


Related websites

Our Watch

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS)

Australian Institute of Family Studies Sexual Violence Research

UN Women Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence Against Women and Girls

White Ribbon Australia Policy and Research Series

Partners In Prevention

Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Gender equity section


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Women’s Health Victoria’s Clearinghouse has a wealth of information on gender in health in various forms. Our experienced health and information professionals can assist you to access this information.


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