This refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys. Equality does not mean that women and men will become the same but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. (UN Women, Gender Equality Glossary)
Gendered Drivers of Violence
Gender inequality, that is the gender discriminatory institutional, social and economic structures, social and cultural norms, and organisational, community, family and relationship practices, is the underlying driver of all gendered violence.
There are four specific expressions of gender inequality, which have been most consistently associated
with higher levels of violence against women:
- Condoning of violence against women
- Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence
- Rigid gender roles and identities
- Male peer relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women. (OurWatch,
Change the Story)
Family violence is abusive or controlling behaviour towards a family member, ordinarily as a part of a pattern of behaviour that controls or dominates that person and causes them to fear for their own or others’ safety and wellbeing. This broad definition includes violence between current or former intimate partners, as well violence between biological family members, extended family, in-laws. (Family Violence Protection Act (VIC) 2008)
WHISE recognizes the gendered nature of this violence, with men predominantly being the perpetrators of this violence, and women predominantly being the victims of this violence.
Primary prevention initiatives aim to change the underlying cause of poor health, engaging whole-of-population to achieve cultural change by targeting norms, practices and structures which create complex, interdependent social systems in which we live, work and play. (Victorian Health, Violence against women in Australia. An overview of research and approaches to primary prevention).
Southern Metropolitan Region
The Southern Metropolitan Region (SMR) covers 10 local government areas from South Melbourne, down to the Mornington Peninsula and east to Casey and Cardinia. The SMR cover 2,888 square kilometers with approximated 1.3 million people, representing about one-quarter of the state’s total population. (WHISE, Environmental Scan).
Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence is abusive or controlling behaviour towards a former or current partner, ordinarily as a part of a pattern of behaviour that controls or dominates that person and causes them to fear for their own or others’ safety and wellbeing. (Family Violence Protection Act (VIC) 2008)
This definition only extends to those who are in an intimate relationship.
Prevention of Violence Against Women
WHISE adopts the OurWatch definition of a primary prevention approach towards the prevention of violence against women, which requires:
Changing the social conditions, such as gender inequality, that excuse, justify or even promote violence against women and their children. Individual behaviour change may be the intended result of prevention activity, but such change cannot be achieved prior to, or in isolation from, a broader change in the underlying drivers of such violence across communities, organisations and society as a whole. A primary prevention approach works across the whole population to address the attitudes, practices and power differentials that drive violence against women and their children.
To be gender responsive, an organisation has mainstreamed gender equity and prevention of violence against women initiatives, so that all policies, procedures and internal documents align with the principles of gender equity.
- Our Watch, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and VicHealth (2015) Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, Our Watch, Melbourne, Australia
- Our Watch, Workplace Equality Respect Standards (NOT YET RELEASED)
- UN Women, OSAGI Gender Mainstreaming - Concepts and definitions; Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (2010), General recommendation No. 28 on the core obligations of States parties under article 2 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
- Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (VIC)
- Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Violence against women in Australia. An overview of research and approaches to primary prevention, Melbourne, Australia (2017)
- WHISE, Environmental Scan, 'Our Region' 2018