Health and the Primary Prevention of Violence against Women

Recommendations for a way forward in eliminating violence against women.

The Australian Women’s Health Network (AWHN) has released a position paper which focuses on best practices for the primary prevention of violence perpetrated by men against women.

The paper Health and the Primary Prevention of Violence against Women has been developed as a resource for public education, debate and community activities engaged in the primary prevention of violence against women, as distinct from secondary and tertiary interventions.

AWHN CEO Kelly Banister said:

‘Gender based violence is a complex social problem with serious health, social and economic consequences.’

‘If this violence is to be stopped from occurring in the first place, a long term commitment to significant investment in primary prevention is crucial. In the medium term, the provision of intervention and support services for women and their children who have experienced violence must be expanded.’

‘This new AWHN resource provides practical steps that can be taken in the development of effective violence prevention action, and in supporting and improving existing strategies.’

Paul Linossier, CEO of the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children, welcomed the AWHN Position Paper on Health and the Primary Prevention of Violence against Women.

‘The paper comes at an important time as the Foundation completes its longer term strategic plan and prepares, with partners ANROWS and VicHealth, for the nation-wide consultation for the development of the first national primary prevention framework.’

Violence against women is not an isolated or occasional occurrence, but a pattern of behavior that violates the human rights of women and girls. It is made possible by the sexism and violence supportive attitudes and behavior prevalent in Australian society.

Ms Banister said stopping violence against women will take a persistent whole of community approach and strong leadership to bring about the widespread cultural change that is necessary. ‘Culture is continually being created so we can change it to make violence against women unacceptable and put a stop to it.’

‘There are already many small and medium sized primary prevention programs taking this type of approach. AWHN continues to build on this work at the national level through collaboration with the Foundation and other key partners and advocacy for the implementation of recommendations made in the Health and the Primary Prevention of Violence against Women resource.’

The paper gives summaries of national, state and territory plans to address violence against women, and makes recommendations to these governments, primary prevention organisations and practitioners for coordinated action across research, policy, and program areas.


For media enquiries, contact:
Kelly Banister, Chief Executive Officer
0408 061 901 |

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