Equality and Safety for Women is a Planning Guide that supports Women’s Health Services and partners across Victoria to develop and implement the most effective actions to prevent violence against women.


What is the Guide about?

Equality and Safety for Women is a guide for leading regional action to prevent men’s violence against women before it occurs, also known as primary prevention. It contains the principles and steps for action planning, implementing and measuring primary prevention efforts in the Victorian regional context.

Each step in the Guide contains information, evidence, tools, resources and best-practice examples that support this action planning, implementation and measurement. These will be updated as the practice of primary prevention grows, making the Guide a hands-on and ‘living’ resource.

Who is the Guide for?

Equality and Safety for Women is for Victoria’s Women’s Health Services and our partners to support work in primary prevention. Partners may include state and local governments, community health services, community-based organisations, primary care partnerships, statewide and peak bodies, Victoria Police, businesses and schools.

The Guide can also be used by other organisations and their partners in primary prevention within and beyond Victoria. The steps reflect sound practice in leading primary prevention action and can be adopted anywhere that regional or local area work is happening.

Why does the Guide exist?

Victoria’s Women’s Health Services are experts in integrated health promotion and have long identified men’s violence against women as a priority. We have an unwavering commitment to redressing the underlying causes of violence for as long as it takes, until equality and safety exists for all Victorian women. We also know that working together produces more powerful results than any single organisation could achieve if it set off doing primary prevention alone.

Equality and Safety for Women recognises the experience of Women’s Health Services in primary prevention and our expertise to lead such work, collaborate with partners, build community and organisational capacity, coordinate and integrate efforts, and measure and share success. This Guide helps to ensure that primary prevention is approached in a consistent and flexible way – now and into the future.

How was the Guide developed?

The Guide’s development was led by Women’s Health Victoria on behalf of the Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV). WHAV encourages its widespread use in leading regional action to prevent men’s violence against women. Nine metropolitan and rural Women’s Health Services across Victoria provided input, and statewide specialist services such as Women with Disabilities Victoria and Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health were also involved. These organisations are all the custodians for ensuring the Guide continues as a living resource through the contribution of fresh information, evidence, tools, resources and best practice examples as they come to hand.

When is the Guide being used?

All of Victoria’s metropolitan and rural Women’s Health Services are currently using Equality and Safety for Women to lead regional action on preventing violence against women before it occurs. If you are not a worker in a Women’s Health Service and would like your primary prevention efforts to be reflected in, and supported by, a broader regional strategy or action plan; or if you want your efforts to be counted as part of your region’s impacts on the problem of violence; or if you simply want to get more out of your efforts, then make contact with the Women’s Health Service in your region here.