Ballarat community ‘saturation’ model announced

Today we welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of a community saturation model project in Ballarat to address the drivers of men’s violence against women over the next four years.

The first of its kind in the country, Respect Victoria will co-design the model with the Ballarat community and local services. The model will be based on international evidence of how best to change systems, policies, processes and ultimately attitudes and behaviours to bring down the rates of violence locally.

“Everyone should be safe, equal and respected at home and in their community, but right now that isn’t the reality across Australia,” Respect Victoria’s Chair Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon said.
“Ballarat has been calling for action and this announcement shows the Victorian Government is listening.”

Co-designed prevention model

The saturation model will be co-designed with the community and local services who are delivering programs and support on the ground. The model will trial the best combinations of approaches to intervene early with men at risk of using violence, combined with efforts to prevent violence from happening in the first place.

“Men, women, children, all of the Ballarat community are ready to make this happen,” said Marianne Hendron, CEO of Women’s Health Grampians.

The model will support new and existing programs and activities to ultimately ‘saturate’ Ballarat with initiatives that change the very attitudes and behaviours that drive violence. It will do this in workplaces and businesses, schools and higher education spaces, community spaces, and across health services. Part of the model will include testing and trialling innovations such as work in the online space, recognising the role and influence of digital environments including social media.

“This saturation model is tangible, it builds on great work, the good will and community momentum here in Ballarat. It’s something we can all get behind to prevent violence against women and children,” Ms Hendron said. 

A well-supported system of prevention, early intervention, response and recovery services is required to effectively drive down rates of violence against women, and so the model will be developed with response and recovery services, to strengthen and grow all parts of the family violence system in Ballarat. 

Professor Fitz-Gibbon welcomed the ongoing leadership of the Victorian Government to prevent gender-based violence. “Today’s announcement will reduce rates of violence over time and create robust evidence about what is possible when a whole community is resourced to tackle violence against women together.”

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