Primary prevention priority area

Changing community attitudes and behaviours to help stop family violence and all forms of violence against women before it starts

Primary prevention aims to shift the underlying drivers of family violence and all forms of violence against women to prevent violence from occurring in the first place. These drivers include systems, structures, norms, attitudes, practices and power imbalances.

Primary prevention is a long-term strategic approach that seeks to engage and reach people of all ages in the places they live, work, learn, socialise and play. It aims to drive social and cultural change towards a society where Victorians can live free from violence. We all have a role to play in calling out and challenging violence-supportive attitudes, behaviours and drivers. This includes discrimination and gender inequality.

The Rolling Action Plan will continue to:

  • strengthen the foundations already in place
  • scale up the prevention activities that are most effective
  • increase the capability and capacity of our workforce.

The recently released Free from Violence Second Action Plan 2022–2025 sets out our approach to primary prevention as a priority of the Rolling Action Plan.

Free from Violence Second Action Plan 2022-2025

What has happened

This report provides an overview of some of the prevention initiatives undertaken as part of the Victorian Government’s family violence reforms. Work has commenced on two reports to be delivered in 2022. These will provide a more comprehensive picture of activity under the Free from Violence Strategy and primary prevention efforts undertaken across Victoria more broadly.

These are:

  • Respect Victoria’s Three-yearly report to Parliament. This will report on progress of all primary prevention activity of family violence and violence against women across Victoria
  • a midterm review of the Free from Violence Strategy. This evaluates the collective work delivered by programs funded under the strategy’s first action plan.

Actions highlighted in this section have largely been undertaken under the framework of the Free from Violence Strategy’s First Action Plan. This includes the multifaceted work of Respect Victoria in community awareness, research, evaluation, policy and advocacy.

What is next

We will continue to strengthen existing prevention partnerships with community organisations and industry sectors to effect positive change. We will amplify our impact through the implementation of the Free from Violence Second Action Plan.

  • Regional and statewide Women’s Health Services continue to support primary prevention networks and partnerships with local organisations, councils and other priority group representatives. These partnerships build capacity and capability in primary prevention. They also promote gender equality across local communities. Support for these networks is delivered (in part) through the Women's Health Services Workforce Capacity Building Program. There is a total investment of $9.6 million from 2018 to 2026.
  • Respect Victoria partners across the sector to extend the reach of community initiatives. Current partnerships include:
    • Safe and Equal (formerly Domestic Violence Victoria and Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria) for the 'Respect Is' grassroots initiative across 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (working with initiative partners Municipal Association of Victoria, the Victorian Council of Social Services, No To Violence, GEN VIC and the Women’s Health Services Council)
    • Safe Steps Family Violence Resource Centre to support the Walk Against Family Violence (with organising partners including City of Melbourne, Djirra, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, Safe and Equal, InTouch Multicultural Centre, Emerge, Women with Disabilities Victoria, No to Violence and the Victim Survivors' Advisory Council).
  • The Supporting Multicultural and Faith Communities to Prevent Family Violence 2021 Grant Program funds 33 organisations to deliver primary prevention, awareness raising and early intervention projects with over 17 identified ethnic groups, communities from five geographical and five faith groups across Victoria.
  • Rainbow Health Australia has received additional investment to continue the LGBTIQ+ Family Violence Prevention Project from 2022 to 2024. The funding will enable Rainbow Health to expand their LGBTIQ+ initiatives and support the prevention sector to embed evidence-based, intersectional and community-led approaches to primary prevention of family violence.

What this means for outcomes