Prevention toolkit for local government
Run a co-design process with your community
Co-design is a method that local governments may consider using to plan and evaluate prevention initiatives with the local community. It is highly participatory and builds ownership from the start. The advantage of co-design is that it is an effective method for fostering ownership and harnessing a community’s knowledge and strengths to achieve social change.
Co-design requires local governments to establish partnerships with key stakeholders, including services and service users, and to make decisions jointly that reflect shared values and goals. The co-design process recognises and values the knowledge and skills of the people for whom services are designed (e.g. victim survivors of family violence) and creates programs that work for them.
Diversity and inclusion
The co-design process should reflect the unique diversity of each community. This will ensure it develops an inclusive and representative activity.
In considering diversity, local governments should examine how and where discrimination and marginalisation contribute to women experiencing higher levels of violence and/or more severe violence. These groups may include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women; women with disabilities; women from migrant and refugee backgrounds; women who live in regional, rural or remote areas; and people who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ).
Mackay Regional Council: Community walk
Mackay Regional Council wanted to work with the community to co-design an activity that would raise awareness of domestic and family violence. They arranged a series of consultative meetings with community representatives and the Mackay Integrates Services Team – a coalition of domestic and family violence services in the region, whose role is to identify key challenges and how to address them.
This resulted in a community walk called ‘Walk a mile in her shoes’ that included a public event involving a walk over the Forgan Bridge in the middle of town during which participants would tie a red rose to the bridge with a purple ribbon. The walk finished in a park, where local domestic and family violence services had set up stalls, and the mayor, police and local women’s service representative made speeches.
With limited funding to go towards this event, the organising team decided to use existing local government resources. They hosted the event on local government land and used the local government’s audio equipment, as well as the banners used previously for the Mackay Draws the Line campaign. This approach freed up funding to pay an Aboriginal elder to conduct a Welcome to Country and to buy the ribbons and red roses for the walk.
Resources and tools to support your work
- Our Watch's intersectional approach to primary prevention
Our Watch is committed to ensuring that our work addresses the intersections between different forms of inequality, discrimination and disadvantage, including colonisation, racism, ableism and homophobia, and the role that these play in violence against women.
- Another Closet: Domestic and family violence and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer People (LGBTIQ)
Another Closet is an online resource for LGBTIQ people who are experiencing domestic and family violence. The Another Closet booklet is a good starting point for local governments working with LGBTIQ communities.
- Changing the picture: Preventing violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
Changing the picture contains a set of clear actions that are needed to address the many drivers of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. This page contains the full resource, summary, and background paper.
Next stepAreas of work to consider
Supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.