How do we prevent violence?

We can prevent violence against women and family violence by changing our culture.

We know the underlying drivers of violence against women and we have a good understanding of what will work to challenge those drivers. These are the actions individuals, communities, organisations and institutions can take to prevent this violence from occurring in the first place:

Challenge condoning of violence against women. This can look like:

  • Not laughing at sexist jokes
  • Supporting and believing victims when they speak up
  • Media focussing on the accountability of the perpetrator, rather than the behaviour of the victim.

By shifting the attitudes and practices that trivialise, excuse or justify violence, we create a culture where women are safer.

Promote women’s independence and decision-making. This can look like:

  • Men and women sharing decisions about household finances
  • Workplace policies that encourage women from all backgrounds into leadership
  • Universal access to affordable childcare.

When we uphold women’s rights and freedoms, we show that they are valued.

Challenge outdated and harmful gender stereotypes and roles. This can look like:

  • Men and women sharing housework equally
  • Workplaces that enable fathers to take parental leave and be primary carers
  • Encouraging men to study caring professions like nursing or childcare.

Giving people the freedom to be themselves builds a culture where everyone thrives.

Support men and boys to develop healthy masculinities and positive, supportive relationships. This can look like:

  • Teaching boys that it’s ok to express their emotions safely, including sadness
  • Consent education in schools
  • Making male-dominated spaces inclusive for everyone.

When men and boys are free from harmful masculine stereotypes, they are more likely to enjoy healthy, respectful relationships.

Efforts to prevent violence against women must be inclusive of all women. That means First Nations women, queer and trans women, women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, women with disabilities, women from different socioeconomic backgrounds, older women, and young women.

Preventing other forms of family violence

Victoria must take action to prevent all forms of family violence and violence against women. We know that addressing the drivers of violence against women will help reduce many other forms of family violence. But without a solid understanding of what drives all different forms of family violence, we won’t know what will work to prevent it from happening in the first place.

That’s why Respect Victoria and others are building on the evidence base for prevention. Together we can make a lasting impact on all forms of family violence and violence against women. We’re using this evidence to influence decision-makers and inform prevention across Victoria. Visit our Research and Policy page to learn more.

Learn more

Prevention is a challenge that belongs to us all. Visit our Campaigns page to see how people like you are creating a Victoria free from family violence and violence against women.