We all have a right to live safe, equal and fulfilling lives, free from sexual and family violence.
Sexual and family violence in Australia is prevalent, serious and an abuse of human rights. The impact on individuals, families and communities is devastating and the broader social and economic costs are staggering.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Together, we can create the social and cultural change to build a future where women and children live free from violence and all people are respected, valued and included. To do this we must work across settings where people live, learn, work, socialise and play to address the drivers of violence against women and gender inequality.
We do this by:
- Challenging the condoning of violence against women
- Challenging harmful gender stereotypes and roles
- Promoting women’s independence and decision-making
- Strengthening positive, equal relationships based on respect.
Our Approach to Primary Prevention
As the largest provider of sexual and family violence response services in the western region of Victoria, The SAFV Centre recognises that primary prevention is central to achieving our vision for a community free from sexual assault and family violence, and a society underpinned by the principles of gender equality, social justice and human rights.
The best way we can serve our clients is to break the cycle of violence. Primary prevention compliments and enhances early intervention, response and recovery by helping to reduce recurrent perpetration of violence and by shifting attitudes, norms, practices and structures that drive violence against women.
We take a public health approach, working across the population at the community, organisational, systemic, institutional and societal levels to challenge the gendered norms, practices and structures that drive and support this violence.
Our practice is intersectional and evidence-based. We align with Victorian Government’s Free from Violence second action plan 2022-2025, the national plan to end violence against women, the Victorian Family Violence Reforms, as well as state and national policies and outcomes frameworks for prevention.
Our Projects – Primary Prevention Services
We have worked successfully in primary prevention of sexual and family violence since 2011. This work includes a focus on educational institutions, workplaces and sporting clubs as they are key settings of change and have significant reach and influence in our communities.
Respect Starts Here
This program supports gender equality, promotes respect in our community and contributes to the prevention of violence against women.
Respect Starts Here breaks gendered stereotypes and builds participants skills to be active bystanders, calling out harmful and disrespectful attitudes and behaviours.
We are currently funded to deliver Respect Starts Here in sporting clubs across Barwon, thanks to Sport and Recreation Victoria and Geelong Community Foundation.
Lived Experience Art Exhibition
This program explores the underlying clauses of violence against women and invites clients to reflect and express concepts such as respect, independence, power, and cultural rules around femininity and masculinity through art in a facilitated workshop setting. The artwork that is produced is exhibited to the public at an accessible venue and shared on social media and other publications.
Take a look at the digital exhibition of Our Stories for Change.
Commitment to Regional Partnerships and Strategies
We are committed to the collective efforts across Barwon, Wimmera and the South West in preventing violence against women and children.
Our organisation is a member of the Communities of Respect & Equality (CoRE) Alliance, led by Women’s Health Grampians and hold a commitment to the CoRE Strategy covering the Western region of Victoria.
Our organisation is also a member of Respect 2040 auspiced by Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West, Respect 2040 is a strategic and collective approach to meaningful gender equality action in our community.
Sexual Assault Prevention Programs for Secondary Schools
This program undertook a whole-of-program approach to preventing the incidence and impacts of sexual assault by addressing a range of social norms relating to violence against women and promote a cultural shift towards respect and equality.
Partnership, Equality and Prevention project with the City of Greater Geelong
This project was a collaborative partnership between The SAFV Centre and City of Greater Geelong. Using an organisational development technique the project sought to strengthen workforce capacity to understand and apply gender equity principles as standard operating practice in order to achieve gender equality for the prevention of violence against women and family violence.
Community of Practice – Primary Prevention in the G21 region
The SAFV Centre in partnership with Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West (WHWBSW) led the Community of Practice from 2017-2022 for practitioners working in primary prevention of violence against women in the G21 region.
The purpose of the CoP is to create a forum for:
- Information sharing and professional development
- Developing and building on a shared understanding of primary prevention
- Creating partnership opportunities that maximise resources and coordinate efforts in primary prevention.
Breaking the Binary Code – Reducing Family Violence against the LGBTIQ+ community
This project worked to prevent family violence by celebrated gender and sexuality diversity, challenged stereotypes and relationship expectations. Taking a strengths based approach the project worked with LGBTIQA+ young people, community and stakeholders though consultation to create a series of creative zines.
Primary Prevention Resources
If you are looking for more information or resources to support your primary prevention work visit:
National body for primary prevention of violence against women and their children. Key framework: Change the Story
Safe & Equal
Peak body for specialist family violence services that provide support to victim survivors in Victoria.
Sexual Assault Services Victoria
Peak body for sexual assault and harmful sexual behaviour services in Victoria.
Dedicated organisation for the prevention of family violence and violence against women in Victoria.
Women’s Health Services Network
Collective of 12 women’s health services focused on gendered health promotion, primary prevention and gender equity.
Contact us / Our Team
The Primary Prevention Team are dedicated and passionate about promoting gender equality and creating a society free from sexual and family violence. The team is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives addressing the gendered drivers of violence against women.
If you’d like to get in touch, please contact our team on (03) 5222 4318 or [email protected].