What is 'primary prevention' of violence against women and their children?
Violence against women and children is a widespread problem in Australia. But it is also preventable.
‘Primary prevention’ means stopping violence before it happens.
Primary prevention initiatives work with whole populations – not just individuals who are at risk of perpetrating or experiencing violence.
Primary prevention means addressing and raising workforce and community awareness of the key underlying drivers of domestic and family violence, which the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 identifies as:
- Condoning of violence against women
- Structures and practices that limit women’s independence, participation in the workforce and perpetuate the gender pay gap and the superannuation gap
- Dominant forms of masculinity and rigid gender stereotyping
- Male peer relations and cultures of masculinity that emphasise aggression, dominance, and control.
Primary prevention differs to other kinds of interventions, such as early intervention, response, or recovery roles. Find out more about primary prevention by following the links below.
The role of local government
Our Watch, a national leader in the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, have identified local councils as being well positioned to take a leading role in the prevention of violence against women and children in their communities.
To assist and guide local councils in taking up this role, Our Watch have provided an online Prevention Toolkit for Local Government, which in July 2023, Adelaide Hills Council committed to implementing. To access this Toolkit, follow the below link.
On Tuesday 11 July 2023, Adelaide Hills Council adopted the below Statement of Commitment to help prevent violence against women and their children.
Adelaide Hills Council recognises that violence against women and their children affects the entire Australian community. We recognise our responsibility to help reduce violence against women and their children.
We recognise that gender-based violence is predominantly perpetrated by men against women, and therefore believe action and support needs to be focused on preventing violence against women and their children.
We also acknowledge gender-based violence can affect people of all genders, sexualities, cultures, religions, ages, educational backgrounds, and income levels.
Council values the services, organisations and individuals that are already working in our community to prevent violence against women and their children, and to support families in crisis. We recognise the knowledge and commitment of these groups and wish to support and encourage their ongoing contribution.
We believe that preventing violence against women and their children is everyone’s business and we are committed to working with the whole community to end violence against women and their children.
As part of renewing our commitment, we will:
- Implement Our Watch's Prevention Toolkit for Local Government
- Demonstrate leadership in primary prevention of violence against women and their children
- Raise employee and community awareness of the drivers and consequences of violence against women and their children
- Provide a safe, inclusive and respectful working environment
- Provide information to Council staff about ways they can prevent violence against women in their work and the services they deliver to community
- Advocate for gender equality in planning, decision-making and service delivery across local government.
Council is committed to making changes to create a future that is free from violence against all women and their children.
Resources and local groups to raise awareness
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs until International Human Rights Day on 10 December. During the 16 Days of Activism, people around the world unite to raise awareness about gender-based violence, challenge discriminatory attitudes and call for improved laws and services to end violence against women for good.
The Stop it at the Start campaign aims to help break the cycle of violence by encouraging adults to reflect on their attitudes and have conversations about respect with young people. The campaign is aimed at parents and family members of children aged 10–17, as well as the teachers, coaches, community leaders and employers of young people.
White Ribbon Australia is a part of a global social movement working to eliminate gendered violence. They take a primary prevention approach to working with communities and workplaces across the country, promoting gender equality and engaging community members to prevent men’s violence against women.
For more information about the campaigns and how to participate, follow the below links.
Partnering with Council
If you or your group would like to partner with Council and/or stay informed about our primary prevention activities, please contact Council's Community and Social Planning Officer by emailing email@example.com or calling (08) 8408 0579.