While acknowledging that family violence occurs across a broader spectrum, this resource focuses on Prevention of Violence against Women (PVAW). Specifically, primary prevention.

PVAW strategies focus on preventing violence before it occurs. It is distinguished from early intervention or response, but acknowledges that these are important parts of a continuum of interdependent and interlinked strategies.

Primary prevention approaches focus on addressing the social norms, structures and practices that are part of the broader social condition of gender inequality in Australia. Work in the area of prevention aims to address the gendered drivers of this behaviour. The Change the Story framework articulates the expressions of gender inequality that consistently predict higher rates of violence against women, described as the gendered drivers (Our Watch, 2015).

The following image outlines where primary prevention sits (image from Our Watch, 2015, p15)

PVAW image

Action to prevent violence against women should promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life and address the gendered drivers. These are described as the essential actions, and include:

  • challenge condoning of violence against women
  • promote women’s independence and decision-making
  • challenge gender stereotypes and roles
  • strengthen positive, equal and respectful relationships
  • promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life.