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    Implement an initiative

    There may be a number of ideas for initiatives resulting from your community readiness assessment and/or codesign process. You will need to prioritise these activities—to do this, you may wish to consider successful activities from other local governments.

    Inspiring action and ideas from local governments around Australia Local governments across Australia are delivering prevention activities across a wide range of sites and services. Further detail on examples and resources are listed below. Some are simple, and some are ambitious, but they are all offering a valuable contribution to their communities.

    Libraries as sites for violence against women prevention

    Libraries provide multiple opportunities to reach people – through displays, books, information days and TV screens. Libraries can be a safe place for women to seek help and access violence against women-related resources. They can include a quiet space with a phone and a referral card for support services and include trained staff to act as key contacts for women. Libraries can also stock and display children’s books on respectful relationships and gender. Other local government sites that you could work with include community centres, gyms, performing arts centres or administration foyers.

    Outdoor sites and services

    These sites and services generally have a high proportion of men working in them. These men (and any women) can play an important role in prevention because they work in areas and at times that other services do not – for example, in the early morning or late at night and in parks and recreational areas. Local governments can facilitate training for outdoor staff on bystander skills, responding to disclosures of experiencing or using violence against women and referral pathways. Local governments can also provide small fold out cards with service directory lists to staff in these outdoor settings, which can be distributed to members of the public.

    Respectful behaviours and youth education

    Some local governments are partnering with local youth services or schools to facilitate training on respectful relationships. This training also educates youth services on how to respond to domestic and family violence disclosures. For example, a number of local governments have partnered with the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) to run prevention workshops that incorporate domestic and family violence training and community safety planning.

    Rural and regional areas

    Local governments in regional and rural areas are acting to prevent violence against women through a range of different activities. One such example is supporting the Rural Challenge Gender Equality Leadership Program (the Program) in regional Victoria. The Program empowers leaders in Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigades and sporting clubs to promote an equal and respectful culture. Sport and the CFA have integral roles in Australian culture, particularly in rural and regional areas. These organisations can bring people together through a sense of pride, common purpose, commitment and community spirit. Clubs and brigades can play a key role in shaping positive community attitudes and behaviour. Clubs and brigades can create a respectful and inclusive culture and, by doing so, help increase the participation and satisfaction of members at their organisation, and help to prevent violence against women. For more information, visit: www.theruralchallenge.com.

    Grants programs

    Establishing a grants program is a way to encourage community organisations to establish their own violence against women prevention initiatives. These initiatives can include the development of community-based projects, resources and awareness raising campaigns.

    Working with health and family services

    Local governments are meeting with health and family services to explore programs that support parents through healthy relationships skill building activities. For example, the Baby Makes 3 program has been implemented in Victoria through local government early childhood services.

    Strengthen skills and education in migrant and refugee communities

    Some local governments are working in partnership with migrant and refugee community organisations, domestic and family violence services and police to combine skill building with violence against women education. Examples include violence against women awareness raising activities by Ballarat City Local government. These included lessons for migrant and refugee women on using tools for car maintenance and repair, art classes, a public exhibition and storytelling, and a workshop with migrant and refugee men and boys on fostering healthy and happy homes.

    Case study

    City of Parramatta: Developing resources for ‘every day and unlikely services and groups’  

    The City of Parramatta’s Preventing Violence against Women Grants Program is funding ten ‘every day and unlikely services and groups’ to develop and deliver tailored strategies or resources to their target community. These services and groups have no existing involvement in providing domestic and family violence-related services or violence prevention programs. Each of the services and groups were funded up to $5,000, and were provided with training and support as needed.

    The services and groups work with children, young people, women and men. The strategies and resources they delivered address the gendered drivers of violence against women.

    The services and groups include: two social enterprises (The Bower and StartSome Good), South Asian women’s group and African community group, football clinics for young women, and women’s shed projects.

    Next step

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    Supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.