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National primary prevention report 

September 2020 / 50 minutes reading time

Key terms

  • Public policy
  • Primary prevention
  • Prevention strategies
  • COVID-19
  • Coordination

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Executive summary

The Hub will guide and lead primary prevention efforts, including to better coordinate and consolidate; share evidence, expertise and learning; and facilitate collaboration in policy and practice across jurisdictions and the violence against women sector.

Read full summary

Violence against women is not inevitable but is preventable. By addressing the underlying drivers of this violence at all levels of society, primary prevention approaches contribute to the long-term social transformation that is needed to make a future where women and their children are free from violence a reality.

Australia has made significant gains in commitment from governments, civil society and private sector to prevent violence against women. A national approach to this issue is emerging, with key achievements in the past decade advancing this work. However, gaps remain and there are many opportunities to build on the foundations of existing work to create sustainable change to the underlying drivers of gender-based violence.

Like many other crises, COVID-19 is having specific and disproportionate health, social and economic impacts on women. The pandemic has shone a light on and amplified existing inequalities which drive gender-based violence, further reinforcing the need for continued commitment to this goal. Actions and reform aimed at preventing violence against women will be crucial to the crisis recovery period in Australia, to ensure that we both sustain the gains made in the past decade and continue to make progress towards the aims of ending violence against women and their children. Additionally, prevention efforts have needed to adapt to the environment in which they are being designed and implemented; and can continue to be responsive to this changing context.

The National Primary Prevention Hub (the Hub), funded by the Commonwealth Government under the Fourth Action Plan (2019-22) of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, will guide and lead primary prevention efforts, including to better coordinate and consolidate; share evidence, expertise and learning; and facilitate collaboration in policy and practice across jurisdictions and the violence against women sector.

One of the Hub’s activity streams is the development of national primary prevention reports to provide information about primary prevention nationally including themes, activities, gaps and opportunities. This first report provides information about primary prevention under two themes:

  • Primary prevention Australia – taking stock of the current state of prevention in Australia including policy context, the prevention workforce, and an overview of prevention activity across the country
  • COVID-19 and primary prevention of violence against women – providing information about the considerations for and examples of how prevention work has been/is being adapted in the COVID context

Key points

All content

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An introduction to primary prevention of violence against women

Primary prevention in Australia

COVID-19 and primary prevention of violence against women

Conclusion

Endnotes

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1

UN Economic and Social Council (13 December 2019) ‘Review & appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly: Report of the Secretary-General’, [11].

2

Ibid, [164].

3

Our Watch, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and VicHealth (2015), Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia.

5

6

7

8

Senior Rights Victoria (2018) Preventing Elder Abuse.

9

Rainbow Health Victoria (2020) Pride in Prevention Evidence Guide.

10

World Health Organisation et al (2019) RESPECT Women: Preventing violence against women.

11

Our Watch (2020) Unpublished survey data.

13

For further information: Women’s Health

14

For further information: Women’s Health

15

For further information: Women with Disabilities Victoria

16

For further information: Women with Disabilities Victoria

17

For further information: EDVOS

19

For further information: Aboriginal Family Legal Services

20

For further information: Healing Foundation

21

22

For further information: Healing Foundation

23

For further information: Family Matters

24

H Cahill, B Dadvand, E Walter-Cruickshank and K Shlezinger, Youth Research Centre (2019) An integrated approach to educating for social and emotional learning, gender education and comprehensive sexuality education

26

For further information: Flinders University Student Association

29

Science in Australia Gender Equity For further information:

32

For further information: The Man Box

33

For further information: VicHealth

34

For further information: Mornington Peninsula Shire

35

For further information: Community Grants Hub

36

R Liston, S Mortimer, G Hamilton and R Cameron (2017) A team effort: preventing violence against women through sport. Evidence Guide prepared for Our Watch. Melbourne: RMIT University

38

For further information: NRL

39

For further information: No More

40

For further information: GoActive Women

41

42

For further information: ABC News

43

44

45

For further information: Media Making Change

46

For further information: Workplace Equality and Respect

47

Australian Human Rights Commission (March 2020) Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry report

48

50

For further information: Help is Here

51

For further information: Speak Out

52

For further information: Break the Cycle

53

For further information: Make No Doubt

54

For further information: No Excuse for Abuse

55

For further information: Respect.gov.au

56

For further information: Doing Nothing Does Harm

57

For further information: Respect Victoria

58

For further information: This Girl Can

59

For further information: Respect Victoria

60

For further information: Plan International

61

Our Watch, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and VicHealth (2015), Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia

62

63

Ibid.

64

Ibid, 5.

65

Gender and Disaster Pod, accessed 14 September 2020.

66

Ibid.

67

Raising Voices (2020) Series on Preventing Violence against Women During the COVID-19, ‘Guidance note 4: How can VAW prevention programs adapt?’

68

70

National FVPLS Forum (2020), #covid-19: The National Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services Forum calls for, accessed 14 September 2020

72

75

76

77

For further information: Sphere

78

E Hill, Committee for Economic Development Australia (2020) Labour Market Policy After COVID-19: Reducing gender inequality and boosting the economy: fiscal policy after COVID-19

79

80

D Wood, K Griffiths and O Emslie, Grattan Institute (June 2020) Cheaper childcare: A practical plan to boost female workforce participation

81

For further information: COVID submissions

82

Parliament of Victoria, Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (July 2020) Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Interim report

83

For further information: Royal Commission

84

Australian Human Rights Commission (March 2020) Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry report

85

For further information: DVRCV

86

87

Office of the eSafety Commissioner (29 June 2020) Australia’s new landscape of post-COVID online opportunity and risk

88

Male Champions of Change (2020) Leading on Gender Equality during COVID-19

89

90

Male Champions of Change (2020), Accelerating change on flexible ways of working

92

International Labour Organisation (24 July 2020) A gender-responsive employment recovery: Building back fairer, 1

93

Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gendered impact of COVID-19

94

For further information: Respect Victoria

95

For further information: Call it Out COVID-19; Respect Older People

96

For further information: Help is Here

97

For further information: Break the Cycle

98

For further information: Speak Out

99

For further information: No Excuse for Abuse

100

For further information: Getting Through This Together

101

For further information: Family and Child Connect

102

For further information: Gender Equity Victoria

103

105

H Boxall, A Morgan and R Brown, Australian Institute of Criminology (July 2020) Statistical Bulletin 28: The prevalence of domestic violence among women during the COVID-19 pandemic

106

107

For further information: Household impacts COVID survey

108

For further information: Women’s Health Australia

109

For further information: AIFS

111

For further information: Caring Fairly

112

113

Our Watch, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and VicHealth (2015), Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia

114

Raising Voices (2020) Series on Preventing Violence against Women During the COVID-19, ‘Guidance note 4: How can VAW prevention programs adapt?’, available at: Raising Voices

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