Reducing and preventing violence against women: global evidence review

The impact of mutually reinforcing place-based initiatives


Commissioned byRespect Victoria
Conducted byDr Lara Fergus
DateJune 2024


To achieve the sustainable change needed to prevent violence against women, international evidence is clear that discrete projects are not enough.  

Respect Victoria commissioned a review of Australian and international literature to understand how a ‘saturation model’ adds to our understanding of what works to prevent violence against women.  

The review found that initiatives with multiple components that reinforce each other are significantly more impactful than those relying on a single method or implemented in a stand-alone setting. 

Key findings

The review found that:

  • appropriately designed primary and secondary prevention interventions (also known as ‘early intervention’) can reduce violence against women in relatively short timeframes
  • prevention interventions complement and enhance early intervention, response and recovery work by reducing and stopping recurrent perpetration of violence
  • interventions addressing the gendered drivers of violence create conditions where new violence is less likely and reduce violence already happening in the community.  

Analysis of intervention evaluations in the review show that when interventions combine more than one strategy or setting (e.g. a workplace, school or sporting club), there is a mutually reinforcing effect that magnifies those interventions’ impact. Combination or multi-component interventions were on average 60 per cent more effective than single-component ones. 

The evidence review demonstrates that to be effective, a saturation model must be tailored to the local context in which its applied. There are, however, critical factors that are foundational to a saturation model’s success. These factors are explored in the Executive Summary.

Read the report

Read the Executive Summary

Suggested citation

Fergus L. Evidence Review: Reducing and preventing violence against women: factors affecting impact, with a focus on multi-component, place-based approaches. Respect Victoria; 2024.