Prevent men’s violence against women

Primary prevention

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What is primary prevention?

We need to stop men’s violence against women before it happens.

This is the work of primary prevention and where the work of White Ribbon Australia is focused.

Primary prevention action is implemented before violence against women occurs and aims to stop the likelihood of men and boys using violence against women and girls. Primary prevention does this by addressing the root causes of violence[i]. The White Ribbon social movement and programs focus on primary prevention.

Definitions of secondary prevention and tertiary prevention can be found in the Primary Prevention factsheet.

Primary Prevention at Work

Examples of primary prevention include:

  • public information and awareness raising campaigns
  • educational programs in schools
  • programs in workplaces
  • government policy establishing frameworks and standards for preventing violence against women[ii] and promoting gender equality.

Through education, awareness raising and creative campaigns, preventative programs, partnerships and political advocacy, White Ribbon Australia highlights the positive role men can play to stop violence against women and enables them to be part of this social change.


Tertiary and secondary prevention

Tertiary prevention strategies are implemented after violence has occurred, focusing on minimising the impact of violence, restoring safety and preventing it from occurring again. Secondary prevention focuses on preventing violence from continuing or escalating. It is successful when violence is avoided or stops: victims are no longer victimised.


White Ribbon Australia operates in collaboration with, and alongside, many other organisations working to end men’s violence against women. Our focus and strength is in mobilising men and communities to end men’s violence against women. By working together with other organisations, including our National Plan Partners ANROWS and Our WATCh, we can move the needle on this important social issue.

More information

[i] Chamberlain, L. (2008). A prevention primer for domestic violence: Terminology, tools, and the public health approach.

[ii] See, for example, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2012 led by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments.


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