Actions to Prevent Violence Against Women
Both women and men can be victims of domestic and family violence but women are much more likely to be the victims. Women are also far more likely to be victims of sexual assault.
There are many different services and organisations that work to support women- and their children- who have survived violence. These services are critical and it is important that the workers in these services have specialist training.
However, when we look at preventing violence against women and their children, we know that ALL OF US can do something: Australia is one of the few places in the world that has a national shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children: Change the Story has been developed by Our Watch, VicHealth and ANROWS.
You can find more information including the detailed framework at Our Watch.
Change the Story identifies that the main driver of violence against women is gender inequality:
- Condoning violence against women
- Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life
- Rigid gender roles and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity
- Male peer relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women
Change the Story also identifies factors that reinforce violence against women, increasing the frequency or severity of this violence. These factors are:
- Condoning of violence generally
- Experience of, and exposure to, violence
- Weakening of pro-social behaviour, especially harmful use of alcohol
- Socio-economic inequality and discrimination
- Backlash factors – increases in violence when male dominance, power or status is challenged
Actions to prevent violence against women
Change the Story also describes actions that ALL OF US; governments, organisations and individual, can take action to prevent violence against women.
- Foster positive personal identities of children, young people or adults, and challenge gender stereotypes and roles
- Strengthen positive, equal and respectful relationships between and among women and men, girls and boys
- Promote women’s independence and decision-making in public life and relationships
- Challenge the condoning or normalisation of violence against women
- Promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life
Actions can be taken where people live, work, learn and socialise and they need to be tailored to the needs and situations of different groups.