Preventing gender-based violence

Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person because of their gender.

The Respect. Now. Always. campaign, to which Respectful Communities aligns much of its work, focuses specifically on sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention. We recognise that these acts of violence, like others (such as intimate partner violence, family violence, and stalking) are interconnected, as they all have a gendered nature and they all occur because of power imbalances. This is why we prefer to use the term “gender-based violence”.

How we prevent gender-based violence

We aim to stop violence before it starts. In collaboration with other groups at Monash, we focus on primary prevention strategies, addressing the attitudes, practices and power imbalances that drive gender-based violence and promoting good health and wellbeing in our community.

Change the story

Change the Story identified a number of drivers of gender-based violence:

  • the condoning of violence against women and members of the LGBTIQ community
  • the imbalance of power in relationships, particularly men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence
  • stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity
  • male peers emphasising or encouraging aggression
  • disrespect towards women and LGBTIQ persons.

We offer initiatives and programs for all levels of our organisation to promote gender equality in public and private life, and ultimately prevent gender-based violence in our community.

Why we use the term gender-based violence

The term is used interchangeably with violence against women, as the majority of gender-based violence is inflicted on women and children by men. We use the term gender-based violence rather than violence against women for two reasons:

  • we recognise that many forms of violence occur due to gendered power imbalances, and
  • we recognise that violence is also disproportionately inflicted on the LGBTIQ community. This means our work involves engaging with people of all genders in our community.