Our Work

Preventing Violence Against Women

As the lead agency for the prevention of violence against women in the Gippsland region, GWH convenes and leads the Gippsland Free From Violence Coalition (GFFVC). We aim for a Gippsland free from violence and equality for all. Violence against women and children is a significant and serious problem. We also know that it is PREVENTABLE.

Being an Active Bystander during COVID-19

Every single one of us plays a role in violence prevention. You can still be an active bystander during COVID-19 physical distancing and social isolation.

The effects of COVID-19 and its uncertainties are increasing anxiety and stress on ALL our relationships. It may be happening to you, someone close to you, or someone in your community. Sometimes, we know it can become serious and violent. We need to watch out for each other and pay attention – we still have the opportunity to be effective bystanders.

Together with MATE Griffith University, we have produced a handy tip sheet to help navigate moments where you are concerned for family, friends, colleagues, neighbours or strangers.

Making the link to change the story

The four key drivers of men’s violence against women are:

  • CONDONING of violence against women
  • MEN’S CONTROL of decision making and limits to women’s independence
  • STEREOTYPED constructions of masculinity and femininity
  • DISRESPECT towards women and male peer relations that emphasise aggression

We know, and evidence around the world consistently tells us, that where gender inequality and disrespectful relationships exist, there is the possibility of violence against women and children.

By understanding the key drivers, we are therefore able to work across Gippsland to prevent violence against women and children.

By focusing on the factors in our own lives, in communities, in workplaces and in our areas that contribute to gender inequality we can begin to recognise and change them.

Learn more at Make the Link, a Gippsland Women’s Health campaign to build awareness and understanding of the foundations of men’s violence against women and the importance of addressing gender inequality to create long term change. Make The Link offers practical ways everybody can be active bystanders and make a difference in their sphere of influence.

The Gippsland Free from Violence Coalition

The GFFVC works to reduce and prevent violence against women and their children within the Gippsland Region. The Coalition is directed by a Strategic Leadership Group that includes membership from across the Gippsland Family violence sector, various related government and non-government partners and local community groups. Each member agency promotes and drives implementation of The Coalition’s Strategy, including a coordinated approach within their respective organisations and sectors.

The Coalition’s mission is to create and sustain, through advocacy and primary prevention, communities across Gippsland that promote and contribute to the prevention of violence against women and their children. The Coalition’s vision is of an inclusive and equitable Gippsland that values women and men equally and allows for equal participation and access to resources at all levels of community.

Partnering to prevent violence against women

The Gippsland Free From Violence Coalition is Gippsland’s regional partnership to prevent men’s violence against women and children before it occurs.  The Coalition’s vision is of a Gippsland where communities, cultures and organisations are non-violent, non-discriminatory, gender equitable, and promote respectful relationships. The Coalition’s stewardship is undertaken by Gippsland Women’s Health, the active inclusion of partner organisations is integral to setting collaborative strategic direction.

In late 2018, the Gippsland Prevention of Men’s Violence Against Women (GPMVAW) Steering Committee undertook a strategic review, to re-focus and to align their prevention work with the current Victorian policies and plans. It was clear that with the dedicated funding from the Victorian state government (following the Royal Commission and the coronial inquest into Luke Batty’s death), came a sharper focus on primary prevention activities and capacity building.

Strategic planning in January 2019 achieved the following:

  • Development of a strategic plan, framed on program logic, and inclusive of four pillars with associated prioritised actions.
  • A new governance model, headed by a Strategic Leadership Group, in which subregional groups were collaborative partners.
  • A title that better reflected strategic alignment with the Victorian government 10 year strategy and the inclusion of Gippsland’s subregional groups – the Gippsland Free From Violence Coalition.
  • Recognition of an exceptional opportunity to advocate powerfully for rural and remote Gippsland resources, by leveraging off the rare bipartisan focus of both state and national governments on Family Violence prevention.