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Violence against women sector

Let’s work together to end violence against women and their children.

The ending violence against women sector

A single organisation cannot achieve the complex social change needed to prevent violence against women and their children.

The legacy and ongoing strength of women’s organisations

Women’s organisations, particularly those working with victims/survivors, not only started the first shelters and crisis centres, but also some of the first prevention activities – such as schools-based programs, awareness raising campaigns, and women’s empowerment initiatives.

They challenged the entrenched belief that violence against women and their children was a private or family issue, and advocated for a public policy response that recognised the role of unequal power relations between women and men.

In particular, they called for the accountability of perpetrators and challenged the victim-blaming that is now known to contribute to sexual and intimate partner violence. 

The role of Our Watch

Our Watch will not work in isolation from, or in competition with, the many organisations already undertaking crucial work to end violence. Our national reach and primary prevention focus brings particular strengths and new opportunities to the field, but we cannot do it alone.

We recognise and respect the different and complementary roles of existing organisations, including crisis response services, advocacy groups, men’s behaviour change programs, statutory authorities, health promotion and social justice agencies. We acknowledge also the decade long work of White Ribbon Australia in creating a men’s led movement to end violence against women. We all need to play our part if we are to address the complexities of this deeply entrenched issue.

Our Watch is committed to inspiring change, mobilising effort and helping other organisations to connect and share knowledge. We act as a backbone, building and supporting a collaborative effort between partners across Australia for an impact that is greater than the sum of its parts.

For example, through our projects in schools, hospitals, with culturally and linguistically diverse communities and with media we are working to strengthen collaboration between organisations and sectors. Each project is building resources and tools jointly with project partners. Evaluations will then inform best practice models that can be adapted and transferred to other locations and settings by a range of organisations and networks across the country.

Through the development of Change the story: a shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia we have built on the many policy and practice learnings from across jurisdictions and sectors, to create an evidence-based and collective ‘road map’ for change.