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Change the Story: Ten actions to prevent Violence Against Women [booklet]

This booklet is an edited extract from Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia. It says that the evidence highlights four gendered drivers of violence against women and five reinforcing factors. 

Gendered drivers of VAW

  • 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.


Reinforcing factors
that within the context of the gendered drivers – can increase frequency or severity of violence: 

  • Condoning of violence in general.
  • Experience of, and exposure to, violence.
  • Weakening of pro-social behaviour, especially harmful use of alcohol.
  • Socio-economic inequality and discrimination.
  • Backlash factors (increases in violence when male dominance, power or status is challenged). 

Essential actions to reduce the gendered drivers of violence against women

1. Challenge condoning of violence against women. 

2. Promote women’s independence and decision-making in public life and relationships. 

3. Foster positive personal identities and challenge gender stereotypes and roles. 

4. Strengthen positive, equal and respectful relations between and among women and men, girls and boys. 

5. Promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life.

Supporting actions to address reinforcing factors

6. Challenge the normalisation of violence as an expression of masculinity or male dominance. 

7. Prevent exposure to violence and support those affected to reduce its consequences. 

8. Address the intersections between social norms relating to alcohol and gender. 

9. Reduce backlash by engaging men and boys in gender equality, building relationship skills and social connections. 

10. Promote broader social equality and address structural discrimination and disadvantage. 

Date published
  • 2016
Published by Our Watch, VicHealth and ANROWS