Prevention of Violence Against Women


Violence against women is now recognised to be a serious and widespread health problem in Australia, with enormous individual and community impacts as well as social costs.

Violence against women is defined as any act of gender-based violence that causes or could cause physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of harm or coercion, in public or in private life.

As this definition makes clear, violence against women is not only or always physical. It includes psychological, economic, emotional and sexual violence and abuse, and a wide range of controlling, coercive and intimidating behaviours. It affects women in all communities regardless of socio-economic status, culture or race.

This significant social problem is highly prevalent in Australia and around the world, however it is also ultimately preventable.

Key Stats on violence against women in Australia

  • On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner

  • 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.

  • 1 in 4 Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.

  • 1 in 5 Australian women has experienced sexual violence.

Current evidence from the national organisation, Our Watch, details four main drivers of violence against women as outlined in their Change the Story Framework: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence.

They are:

  • Condoning of violence against women

  • Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life

  • Rigid gender roles and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity

  • Male peer relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women

As a primary prevention organisation, our work aims to address these drivers in order to prevent violence against women.

More information on the Change the story framework can be found on the Our Watch website