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International resources on primary prevention of violence against women and their children

January 26, 2017 at 5:02 PM

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

A number of resources have been published by the United Nations and violence prevention organisations in Australia and the United States, focused on the primary prevention of violence against women and their children.

These include frameworks as well as strategies and toolkits for taking action.


Primary prevention organisation Our Watch has published a new toolkit. Community based prevention of violence against women and their children: A toolkit for practitioners (2016) is to support practitioners and community organisations. It uses a primary prevention approach focused on changing attitudes, behaviours and practices. The toolkit includes eight sections from thinking about community work through to evaluation and celebrating successes. It includes background and guidance information such as what drives family violence and how to respond to disclosures of family violence. Our Watch Chief Executive Officer Mary Barry said "The toolkit helps communities understand the link between gender inequality, rigid adherence to gender stereotypes and violence against women, which is crucial if we are to stop this violence before it starts."

In 2015, Our Watch, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) jointly developed Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia. The framework uses international research and Australian experience to outline what drives violence against women and their children and what works to prevent it. It sets out the evidence and principles of effective prevention, and presents a coordinated national approach. The Our Watch webpage states "What our framework makes clear is that gender inequality is the core of the problem and it is the heart of the solution." The framework outlines five essential and five supporting actions to address the factors that drive and reinforce violence against women. A video explaining the framework is available along with a brief summary, supporting documents and FAQ.

Our Watch has also published an evaluation of a project that aimed to support the development of primary prevention strategies to address violence against women and children from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Two community level projects were conducted, one with an Iranian community and the other with an Indian community. See: Evaluation of the Preventing Violence Against Women and their Children in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities Project (Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University, 2016).

United Nations

UN women has published a Package of essentials for addressing violence against women (2016). The package includes four 2-page briefs that provide short summaries and international good practice examples for advocates, programmers and policy makers on the following topics:

In 2015, UN Women released A framework to underpin action to prevent violence against women designed for policy and programme developers. The purpose of the framework is to bring together findings from international research and recommendations into one framework agreed by key UN agencies. The framework is designed to promote a common understanding and approach to prevention of violence against women. The framework was co-published by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women); International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and the World Health Organization (WHO).

United States

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed an online social norms resource that sets out how attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours based in misperception can create risk for violence. The resource explains what social norms are, the difference between social norms and narratives, the link with violence, and how a social norms campaign can help prevent violence. The resource outlines six steps to develop a social norms campaign with links to examples and resources.

Current primary prevention work in Aotearoa New Zealand

For more information on the Government's work in primary prevention see information the Family violence & sexual violence work programme from the Ministry of Justice. See also the following NZFVC news stories:

Aotearoa New Zealand resources

Also see the following earlier reports on primary prevention from the Ministry for Women:

Category: Resources