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Healthy Communities - Prevention of Violence Against Women

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What is violence against women?

Violence against women is a range of behaviours that a man does that causes a woman to feel fear.

Violence against women is a common and serious problem. It is not always easy to identify. There are many forms of violence against women including physical and sexual abuse; emotional or psychological abuse; financial abuse; stalking or any behaviour that is threatening, forceful or in any way controls or dominates that person.

Where can you find help?

If you are worried about your relationship or someone else’s, you can find help by calling 1800RESPECT, online here or a local service here.

Who does it affect?

Violence against women occurs across the whole community, however certain groups of women experience much higher rates of male violence than others. These groups include women with disabilities, Aboriginal women, women from rural/remote areas, and immigrant and refugee women.

PVAW Statistics

What are we doing?

Gender inequity is the main cause of gender based violence. Our work incorporates promoting gender equity measures to reduce the likelihood that violence against women will take place. We do this in several ways:


We are working across all levels of Barwon Health to ensure that violence against women is recognised and supportive actions are in place.This whole-of-hospital approach comes from the Strengthening Health Service Response to Family Violence Project.This project works across all levels of Barwon Health to ensure violence against women is understood and responded to by our staff. Our unit aims to ensure prevention is included in the implementation of the project so that the underlying drivers of violence are addressed.


We are working with a range of organisations (schools, workplaces and health centres) to make it easier for people to step up when they see violence and to treat women equally and fairly.



The Barwon Respect Netball Cup is an annual event that works with regional secondary schools (public, private and Catholic) to support students to take the lead in promoting healthy relationships, gender equity and respect. Commencing in 2014, it is now in it's fifth year. 

Year Nine students participate in workshops exploring issues of consent, gender equity, the role of the bystander and the impact of attitudes and behaviours on enabling or preventing violence against women. These activities are followed by a mixed round robin netball competition.

2018 results show that students become more aware of the issues, more confident in their role, and more capable to recognise and initiate activities that prevent relationship abuse. For example, 75% of students said they learnt a lot about gender based violence and 66% of students reported that they learnt a lot about recognising signs of unhealthy relationships. 

The Barwon Respect Netball Cup is a collaborative effort across a broad range of agencies including Barwon Health, Barwon Community Legal Service, Department of Education, Barwon Child Youth Family, and Womens Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West.

If you would like to see a brief video of the 2018 Barwon Respect Netball Cup 


We support the Barwon Month of Action, which has a long and proud history of providing opportunities to speak out against Violence Against Women in the Geelong region. It has established itself as a regular part of the Barwon region’s calendar and activities, with an emphasis on ending men's violence against women. To find out more visit 


Last Modified: Friday, 15 March 2019