Prevention toolkit for local government
Areas of work to consider
- Education and care settings for children and young people
- Workplaces and employee organisations
- Sport and recreation places and spaces
- Health, family and community services
- Faith based sites
- Transport, public spaces and infrastructure.
- Police legal and corrections
- Procurement and supply chains
- Resources and tools to support your work
There are many areas of work that local governments can consider when implementing prevention activities.
Education and care settings for children and young people
Education and care sites can include all education settings from childcare, pre-school, primary and secondary school, TAFE and university.
Activities in these settings could focus on gender equal positive parenting, avoiding gender stereotypes, healthy relationships, and bystander actions (for older groups).
Workplaces and employee organisations
Workplaces are practical settings to support change through policies, practices and workplace culture. Through employment, procurement and service provision, workplaces are influential settings in which to shape attitudes and behaviours that promote gender equality and prevent violence against women.
Sport and recreation places and spaces
Sporting sites are traditionally considered to have more ‘masculine’ cultures. This can be a good place to reach and influence the attitudes of large numbers of young men, as well as encourage higher numbers of female participation in sport. Using sporting codes at all levels can be a good strategy to find influential champions of change and promote gender equality. Local governments could also consider running bystander training at these sites.
A note on working with men and boys:
It is now well documented that men’s health and wellbeing is negatively impacted by rigid gender stereotypes that serve to create a restrictive and limiting form of masculinity that many men feel compelled to adhere to. The pressures to conform to being a ‘real man’ have been found to contribute to higher rates of male suicide, depression, development of poor coping mechanisms and help-seeking behaviours, more frequent involvement in road traffic accidents, binge drinking, and incidents of violence, sexual harassment and bullying. Healthier masculinities are characterised by equality and respect, non-violence, reflection and self-awareness, emotional expression, vulnerability and accountability. All prevention of violence against women initiatives can be strengthened by considering the influence of healthier masculinities.
The arts (including visual art, music, theatre and dance) can be a powerful medium to explore norms, communicate ‘taboo’ subjects, drive visually engaging campaigns in public spaces and provide new creative methods to engage the community on violence against women.
Many local governments manage, or work closely with, libraries in their local area. Libraries have the capacity to promote gender equality through showcasing books that challenge gender stereotypes and running storytime sessions that raise awareness of important issues like preventing violence against women.
Health, family and community services
Health and community services settings have hosted and collaborated on community development initiatives for a long time. They are valuable settings that can provide an entry point and access to other community programs especially for new parents, minority groups or older, isolated community members.
Faith based sites
Faith–based sites provide access to influential leaders who shape community guidance on social norms and acceptable behaviours. They can also be the location for programs and/or information sessions around violence against women.
Different forms of media (e.g. print media, social media, radio and television) can be used to reach different audiences and promote activities, address social norms and stereotypes and champion the benefits of a community free from violence against women.
Transport, public spaces and infrastructure.
Consider equality, access and inclusion in town/rural planning as this can have a positive influence on civic participation, safety and accessibility for all members of the community. Some local governments have already used these spaces for awareness raising and practical actions to prevent violence against women.
Police legal and corrections
Police and justice settings have very important roles to play in responding to violence against women. They can work in partnership toward prevention by joining with communities in implementing strategies and activities. Some local governments have already developed partnerships with police and the court network to promote prevention and early intervention activities. This is also a good way to promote police services to the community.
Procurement and supply chains
Most local governments have suppliers who are required to adhere to a range of different standards. Local governments can ensure that suppliers are promoting gender equality and prevention of violence against women through this same compliance process. For example, an organisation will need to show evidence of an active domestic and family violence workplace policy as part of mandatory selection criteria in a procurement process.
Resources and tools to support your work
- Men in focus: unpacking masculinities and engaging men in the prevention of violence against women
This evidence review synthesises and analyses existing research on masculinities and violence against women to develop a deeper understanding of the links between dominant forms and patterns of masculinity and violence against women.
Next stepImplement and initiative
Supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.