Ballarat community saturation model

An initiative with the Ballarat community to prevent violence against women

Women in every Victorian community deserve to be safe, equal and respected.  

Right now, that isn’t the reality in any postcode in Australia. Following a devastating period of men’s violence against women, the community in Ballarat rallied together calling for action.  

The Victorian Government has since announced a four-year project to prevent violence against women in Ballarat. Respect Victoria will work alongside the local community to design a model that will 'saturate' Ballarat with initiatives to address the drivers of men’s violence against women.  

Promising practice to prevent violence has been implemented across Victoria – from community sport to TAFEs, workplaces to schools, and beyond.  Now it’s time to take prevention to the next level. The community saturation model is an opportunity to strengthen and intensify prevention everywhere that people in Ballarat live, learn, work and play.  

Alongside new activities, the project will elevate existing prevention and early intervention initiatives in Ballarat. Strengthening these initiatives to reinforce each other will amplify their overall impact, with the aim of driving down rates of men’s violence over time.  

Results from the Ballarat saturation model will improve Victoria’s understanding of what works to prevent violence on a wider scale. 

What is the saturation model?

The saturation model is an approach to preventing violence against women that will be designed with the Ballarat community.  

The project is based on global evidence that demonstrates the impact of place-based, community-led approaches to prevent gender-based violence by ‘saturating’ an area with activities that reinforce each other.  

When initiatives are connected and reinforcing, the evidence shows they have significantly more impact on preventing violence than stand-alone activities.

How does it work?

A ‘saturation model’ means that all the different connections someone has in a particular community reinforce the same expectations of attitudes, beliefs and behaviours related to preventing violence against women.

The specific activities included in the model will be designed with the Ballarat community.

What could the Ballarat saturation model look like in practice?

Here’s an example of how someone in Ballarat might experience the saturation model:

  • A young person receives Respectful Relationships Education at school, where their teacher is supported to deliver the curriculum with confidence and understands how to respond to disclosures and manage resistance.  
  • What they learn in class about healthy relationships is also modelled at their footy practice, where coaches and staff create a safe and respectful club culture, and where people of all genders enjoy equal and safe access to facilities and equipment.  
  • When they get home that night and scroll social media, they’re shown positive expressions of masculinity, respect for women, and celebration of trans and gender diverse identities.  
  • When messaging with their girlfriend that night they might start to feel worried about their behaviour or their relationship. But they’ll feel safe and supported to raise the issue and talk it through with someone they trust, like a parent, guardian or their footy coach, or seek specialised support.

How will the Ballarat model be designed?

Respect Victoria will design the model with the Ballarat community and local services, throughout 2024. In the meantime, we’re speaking with local organisations and reaching out to local prevention leaders like Women’s Health Grampians and the Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Alliance to develop what the design process will look like.  

The Ballarat saturation model will be designed to connect with domestic, family and sexual violence response services in Ballarat. A well-supported system of prevention, early intervention, response and recovery services is essential to effectively drive down rates of violence against women and ensure safety.

How can I be involved?

If you’d like to know more about the Ballarat saturation model, sign up to our mailing list to receive regular updates. You can also get in touch by emailing our coordination team at practice@respectvictoria.vic.gov.au.