26 September 2023

New family violence report and framework

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Respect Victoria is looking to support people working on the primary prevention of family violence and all forms of violence against women, with a new report and framework.

Releasing the report Understanding, monitoring and responding to resistance and backlash, Respect Victoria said resistance and backlash were common and ongoing challenges faced by practitioners and organisations working in the field.

“This is a complex phenomenon where we work, learn, live and play,” Respect Victoria said.

“[The] Report seeks to advance our understanding of this issue and to define practical approaches to monitoring, assessing and responding to backlash and resistance that emerges in organisational settings.”

It said the research, conducted by Our Watch and Commissioned by Respect Victoria, uncovered five key insights about organisational resistance and backlash, including that it could appear in a range of ways and was best viewed as existing on a continuum.

“These different forms range from simply refusing to acknowledge the problem of gender inequality through to the most hostile forms of anti-feminist backlash, including actual and/or threat of physical and sexual violence,” Respect Victoria said.

It said the Report also found that masculinities and male privilege could shape resistance and backlash in organisations, “and this can place pressure on people to conform to or support attitudes that resist change.”

“Resistance to primary prevention can be an expression of individual circumstances,” the Agency said.

“Effectively monitoring resistance and backlash requires a reflective approach,” it said.

“Monitoring resistance and backlash should complement efforts to design and implement primary prevention programs.”

To support prevention practitioners and change leaders in organisations, Respect Victoria developed a framework for identifying and addressing resistance and backlash to accompany the Report.

“The tool aims to encourage thinking about types of resistance occurring within an organisation, how to recognise it, what kinds of actions to take and how to keep this centred in the goals of prevention,” it said.

Respect Victoria’s 86-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link and the two-page framework at this link.

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