Primary prevention

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

Primary prevention aims to address 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 gender-biased systems, structures, norms, attitudes, practices and power inequality.

Primary prevention is a long-term strategic approach that seeks to engage people of all ages in the places where they live, work, learn and play. It aims to drive social and cultural change towards a society where Victorians can live free from violence.

The Free from violence: second action plan 2022–2025 sets out our approach to primary prevention. Under this plan, we are working to scale up the most effective primary prevention approaches and increase the capability and capacity of the primary prevention workforce.

Key activity in 2022

  • Respect Victoria’s three-yearly report, Progress on preventing family violence and violence against women in Victoria was tabled in Parliament in September 2022. The inaugural report spans 2018 to 2021, articulating the progress Victoria has made and outlining opportunities for future action.
  • The Preventing Violence Through Sport Grants Program funded 12 partnerships to deliver prevention training in community sports settings. The partnerships comprise a diverse range of community sports clubs and leagues, local governments and women’s health services, reaching young people and communities across metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria.
  • We supported 33 organisations to deliver primary prevention, awareness raising and early intervention projects with over 27 multicultural communities and five faith groups through the Supporting Multicultural and Faith Communities to Prevent Family Violence Program.
  • Rainbow Health Australia developed and published the Pride in prevention partnership guide: a guide to primary prevention of family violence experienced by LGBTIQ+ communities. This guide aims to build the capacity of LGBTIQ+ organisations and practitioners and the broader prevention sector.
  • Respect Victoria delivered behaviour change campaigns including the statewide Respect Women: ‘Call It Out' (Respect Is) campaign in October 2022. The campaign featured diverse stories of what respect means in the context of the drivers of violence against women.
  • In partnership with Jesuit Social Services, we designed an early intervention project targeting at-risk boys and young men at critical points in their development to equip them with the skills and confidence to challenge harmful norms and attitudes that lead to violence against women.
  • Up to 48,200 families benefited from the Baby Makes 3 program,1 which promotes equality in parenting by supporting new parents to build mutual respect for each other, and challenges gendered expectations of becoming a parent. Fifty-three childbirth and parenting educators completed training to deliver the program.
  • Balit Booboop Narrkwarren, which means ‘strong baby and family’ in Woiwurrung language, is a culturally adapted model of the Baby Makes 3 program to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. In 2022, an additional 11 people were trained as Balit Booboop Narrkwarren Champions to deliver the program for Aboriginal families.


1 HealthAbility 2022, ‘Baby Makes 3 wins VicHealth’s Outstanding Health Promotion Award 2022’,