Building a Respectful Community Strategy

A copy of Building a Respectful Community Strategy 2017-2021 at the launch event in 2017

Building a Respectful Community Strategy 2017–2021 [PDF] is the regional strategy for the primary prevention of violence against women across the northern metropolitan region of Melbourne. The Strategy works towards a gender equitable and non-violent community where women and girls are valued, respected and safe. It draws on current national and Victorian frameworks and strategies to apply an evidence-based, intersectional and regional approach.

The Strategy was developed by the Building a Respectful Community Partnership, an alliance of 25 organisations that are committed to working together to prevent violence against women, led by WHIN. It aims to guide, inspire and support organisations to prevent violence against women and promote gender equity across workplaces, community groups and neighbourhoods, services and facilities, and communications. It also aims to engage new sectors and organisations in this work.

This is the second regional strategy developed for Melbourne’s north. Information on the previous strategy can be found in the history section.

Strategy Launch


A gender equitable, safe and respectful community.


To work together across the northern metropolitan region of Melbourne to prevent violence against women.


Our work is…

Human rights-based: We recognise violence against women as a human rights abuse and we apply an approach that places women’s human rights, including their rights to physical integrity, agency and autonomy, at the centre of prevention efforts.

Feminist: We use a women-centred and women-led approach to advocacy and action, underpinned by a feminist understanding which identifies violence against women as a gendered issue grounded in structural gender inequality.

Gender transformative: Our work examines, challenges and ultimately transforms structures, norms and practices that reinforce gender inequality, and strengthens those that support gender equality.

Intersectional: We recognise that intersecting forms of discrimination can increase the prevalence and/or severity of violence. We use an inclusive lens that complements population-wide approaches with tailored and targeted strategies.

Accountable: We are accountable to, and informed by, women’s experiences. We take a ‘do no harm’ approach which prioritises the safety of participants in any work we do.

Informed by local context: Our strategies are informed by, and tailored to, the community, group or population involved. We are informed by the response sector and their understanding of women’s experiences.

Engaging men: Our work recognises that preventing violence against women is everyone’s responsibility and engages men and boys as allies in addressing the gendered drivers of violence against women.

Evidence-based: Our strategies and actions are based on current evidence, research and consultation, and focus on long term change. Evaluation is built in from the start, applied for continuous improvement, and builds the evidence base.


GOAL 1: Our workplaces are gender equitable, safe and inclusive.

GOAL 2: Our services and facilities are gender equitable, safe and inclusive.

GOAL 3: Our communities and neighbourhoods are gender equitable, safe and inclusive.

GOAL 4: Our communications are gender equitable and inclusive.

GOAL 5: A wide range of sectors and organisations take responsibility for preventing violence against women.

Action Plan

The Building a Respectful Community Partnership works on annual action plans to guide the implementation of the Building a Respectful Community Strategy 2017-2021.

The annual action plans identify the goals and strategies that each partner organisation has chosen to focus on for that financial year. They also outline actions that WHIN will take to build the capacity of the partnership and support partners in their chosen strategies.

The current year’s plan is the Building a Respectful Community Action Plan 2018-19 [PDF].

Last year’s plan was the Building a Respectful Community Action Plan 2017-18 [PDF].


The current year’s evaluation plan is the Building a Respectful Community Evaluation Plan 2017-19 [PDF], and associated Building a Respectful Community Program Logic 2017-19 [PDF].

An evaluation of the previous prevention strategy was undertaken by Dr Deborah Western from Monash University’s Gender Leadership and Social Sustainability Research Unit in 2016. The framework can be found here, and the report here.