Primary prevention

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A new project aims to change the community culture that allows violence against women to occur

With the support of funds provided by Our Watch, an organisation dedicated to changing the culture that creates violence against women and children in society, a primary prevention project has been launched in Melbourne’s West, to work with Indian men and women in Wyndham and Brimbank. The project is being run by Cohealth and is expected to continue through to November this year.

Explaining why and how the project will support prevention in the Indian community, the Project Lead from Our Watch Alice Henderson said, “The Indian-Australian community has demonstrated strong readiness to participate in prevention efforts and there is potential to build on prevention activities that are already underway in the community.”

According to Henderson, the project will include holding regular consultations, establishing a working group bringing together community leaders and members, and building the capacity of the community and religious leaders to prevent violence against women and children.

The development and implementation of activities will be informed and led by the Indian-Australian community by drawing on community knowledge, leadership and strengths. Evidence based and best-practice prevention initiatives will be tailored to meet specific needs and contexts in the community.

In a recent meeting, a variety of leaders and members from the Indian community were invited by Cohealth to discuss findings and recommendations related to Primary Prevention. The meeting was held at the office of Marsha Thomson MP, Member for Footscray.

At the outset, Counsellor and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner Muktesh Chhibber shed light on statistics that indicated the vast majority of dangerous, abusive and violent behaviour that occurs in the privacy of people’s homes is committed by men against women.  

The men at the forum were asked to comment which lead to some interesting perspectives providing insight into the male psyche. The discussion went through various forms of power and control including economic and academic abuse, emotional abuse, using children, friends or loved ones, societal privilege, sexual violence, intimidation, isolation, coercion and threats.

As part of the community consultation, the agenda delved into mainly gender inequality and the occurrence of violence against women. Towards the end Alice Henderson also went through some potential primary prevention of Violence Against Women and Children (PVAWC) Initiatives.

Cohealth plans to continue to involve a range of associations and individuals in the community who aspire to be active change agents in primary prevention interventions.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000


Preeti Jabbal
Preeti Jabbal
Preeti is the Melbourne Coordinator of Indian Link.

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