Prevention of Violence against Women

Violence against women remains one of the most serious and pervasive issues affecting women, families, communities and society. Violence against women includes psychological, economic, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. In Australia, approximately one in three women over the age of 15 years have experienced physical assault, one in five women have experienced sexual assault, and over half of all women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

Among Victorian women aged 15-44, violence against women is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health. The trauma of associated with experiencing violence has devastating and widespread impacts on women’s mental and physical health. Poor mental health outcomes represent the majority of this burden of disease including depression and anxiety (62 per cent). This is followed by suicide, tobacco and alcohol use. buy essay

A review of local data demonstrates that violence against women in the
Eastern Metropolitan Region is unacceptably high. In the financial year of 2011-2012, the Victorian Police recorded 5,818 incidents of family violence in the Eastern Metropolitan Region including the seven municipalities of Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges. It is for these reasons that Women’s Health East have identified the prevention of violence against women as a priority area.

While violence against women is prevalent and serious, evidence tells us it is preventable.

Women’s Health East work towards ending violence against women in the Eastern Metropolitan Region by addressing the underlying determinants of violence against women, which are centred around power and gender inequality. We do this through working in partnership with other organisations in a coordinated approach to Prevention of Violence against Women, through advocacy and research, and by implementing primary prevention programs within the Eastern Metropolitan Region.

Take a look at the Speaking Out program and Together for Equality & Respect, two examples of how Women’s Health East is working towards preventing violence against women in Melbourne’s East.

Check out our Resources and see the topic Violence Against Women

Together for Equality & Respect

Women’s Health East is the lead agency for Together for Equality & Respect: A Strategy to Prevent Violence Against Women in Melbourne’s East 2013 – 2017. The Strategy provides partner organisations with the opportunity to work together to prioritise, coordinate and integrate primary prevention efforts to prevent men’s violence against women.

All seven Local Governments and all eight Community Health Services, both Primary Care Partnerships, both Medicare Locals and the Regional Family Violence Partnership from within the Eastern Metropolitan Region, have all been actively involved in the consultation and/or development of this Strategy. These partners together created a powerful vision, articulating what they believe this Strategy can contribute to:

  • A society where women live free from men’s violence – where every girl and boy grows up to be equally valued, heard and respected, and with equal access to opportunities.

You can read more  about the evidence that underpins the Together for Equality & Respect Strategy or to learn more about the Action Plan and how the Strategy is contributing to the prevention of violence against women in the Eastern Metropolitan Region visit the Together for Equality & Respect website.

Together for Equality & Respect Strategy Overview coverTogether for Equality & Respect Action Plan cover 2014_TFER_Forums

Speaking Out: Media Advocacy to end Family Violence and Sexual Assault

The Speaking Out program ensures that the voices of women who have experienced family violence and sexual assault are heard through the media and public events. Led by Women’s Health East, in partnership with the Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (ECASA) and the Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS), the program seeks to influence a change in community attitudes and to promote the prevention of violence against women.

Established in 2011, the program’s main objectives are:

  • To provide opportunities for women who have experienced violence to undertake advocacy;
  • To recognise the importance of women’s voices and ensure that the voices of survivor advocates are heard;
  • To contribute to a more accurate, sensitive and gender equitable public discourse on violence against women;
  • To contribute to changing community attitudes and behaviours towards violence against women.

The Speaking Out program provides an opportunity for the community to hear from women survivors of sexual assault and family violence and to learn about the role we can all play in ending violence against women in our community.

2014_WhatWeDo_EMAP_Chance-to-speak-out

Survivor advocates can share not just their own stories of survival but can provide insight and expertise on how we can as a community prevent violence against women.

Our advocates can:

  • Provide personal insights on the impact of sexual assault and family violence
  • Challenge commonly held beliefs around sexual assault and family violence
  • Correct misconceptions and stereotypes about victims
  • Provide information about where women can go for support
  • Provide information to service providers on how women feel when navigating the family violence and sexual assault system
  • Encourage the community to take action to prevent violence against women.

To find out more or to book an advocate for an event or media opportunity, please contact Women’s Health East on 9851 3700 or health@whe.org.au.

Resources:

Speaking Out Program Flyer (pdf)

Request an Advocate Form 

 

VOICES FOR CHANGE

A guide to implementing a media advocacy program for the prevention of violence against women.

Violence against women happens in every community, suburb and town, and the voices of survivors need to be heard if we are to end violence against women. A media advocacy program enables women who have experienced violence to share their stories with the public through the media and other community advocacy engagements.

Building on our expertise in leading the Speaking Out program, Women’s Health East was engaged by Our Watch and VicHealth to develop the Voices for Change manual.

Voices for Change: A Media Advocacy Program for the Prevention of Violence Against Women is a step-by-step guide with resources to enable organisations to plan and develop their own Media Advocacy Program with one unequivocal goal: to end violence against women.

Voices for Change is comprised on two essential documents – an Implementation Guide and Facilitator Training Manual.

 

Implementation Guide170620 ImpGuide_Pic

The Voices for Change Implementation Guide shares the practical experience of organisations in Australia that have pioneered media advocacy work. It outlines how to establish a Media Advocacy Program that can be shaped to your organisation, with women who have different experiences of violence.

Click on the relevant sections to download and read, or alternatively, download the full guide including appendices/resources.

Voices for Change Implementation Guide – full version

Section 1: Introduction

Section 2: History and current context

Section 3: Why media advocacy?

Section 4: Is media advocacy for you?

Section 5: Program planning

Section 6: Working with advocates

Section 7: Creating and managing media advocacy opportunities

Section 8: Appendices

 

170620 FacilitatorManual_PicTraining Manual

A companion resource to the Implementation Guide is the Voices for Change Facilitator Training Manual on how to run media advocacy training sessions with women who have experienced family violence or sexual assault. It includes practical tools and resources that can be used as a part of the training sessions.

If you would like a copy of the Voices for Change Facilitator Training Manual, please contact Kate Gibson on 9851 3700 or kgibson@whe.org.au

 

Increasing the Odds for Safety and Respect

This was a prevention project funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation focusing on the link between family violence and gambling. The purpose of the project was to increase the safety of women experiencing violence from male partners, and to reduce harm from gambling.

IncreasingTheOdds2The project was based in the northern and eastern metropolitan regions of Melbourne. Women’s Health East partnered with Women’s Health In the North  (WHIN), family violence services, Gambler’s Help services and other health and human services providers to increase knowledge about the link between family violence  and gambling and to strengthen risk assessment mechanisms, referral pathways and service delivery across these sectors.

It evolved from research indicating that family violence is three times more likely to occur in families in which there is significant harm from gambling than in families in which there is no harm from gambling[i]. Although the link between these issues is acknowledged in both Australian and international literature, it is not yet well researched or understood, nor is it comprehensively addressed at the prevention or response level. Current service delivery structures do not always provide an integrated response to women experiencing violence in homes where there is also harm from gambling, and there are no formal referral  pathways between gambling support and family violence services in Victoria. Similarly there are no other current prevention strategies in Victoria that specifically  address both family violence and gambling-related harm.

 

Project Resources

The Increasing the Odds for Safety and Respect project produced a range of resources to assist service providers and policy makers to understand the link between family violence and gambling-related harm:

  • Increasing the Odds Issues Paper  provides current evidence and information on the link between gambling and family violence to professionals, advocates, and policy and decision makers. The paper also summarises the work done within the Increasing the Odds project over three years forming an evidence base of research and practice on a gendered perspective of the co-occurrence of family violence and gambling-related harm.
  • The Applying a Gendered Approach to the Link between Family Violence and Problem Gambling discusses the benefits of putting a gendered lens over work that addresses the link between family violence and harms from gambling;
  • The Consultation Summary Report  is based on discussions with representatives from Gambler’s Help, family violence services, and other health and human services about their experiences of working with clients who may be experiencing gambling harm and family violence; and
  • Drawing on the work of the Increasing the Odds for Safety and Respect project, WHE, WHIN and partners prepared a submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. It includes a summary of what is known about the link between family violence and problem gambling, and supporting recommendations.
  • NEW. The 50–50: Increasing the Odds for Safety and Respect film and accompanying resources notes.  The film shows ‘Phil’, a man with gambling issues, expressing stereotyped ideas of masculinity and femininity and a need to control his partner’s independence and decisions. His friend ‘Ahmed’, who works as a counsellor, challenges these comments. This resource helps guide professionals from both the gambling and family violence counselling fields and provides the broader community with language to challenge expressions that support violence against women.

 

 

9Project details

This active phase of this project has now concluded however the resources are publicly available for use. For more information contact Women’s Health East on health@whe.org.au  ph (03) 9851 3700, or Women’s Health In the North (03) 9484 1666.

Women’s Health In the North, Women’s Heath East, Inner East Primary Care Partnership and North East Primary Care Partnership were the project partners. We acknowledge the vision and support of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation who funded the project.

 


 

[i] Dowling, N. A., Ewin, C., Youssef, G. J., Thomas, S. A., & Jackson, A. C. Problem gambling and family violence: Findings from a population representative community study. Manuscript in preparation.