We can end violence against women when we all work together.

Respect 2040 is a regional partnership committed to the elimination of violence against women. The partners in Respect 2040 are united by the vision of a thriving Barwon South West community in which every person is respected, safe, and equal – able to be reach their full potential. It is both a strategy and a movement. The strategy outlines our shared commitment to ending violence against women in the Barwon South West region. It was designed in partnership with key organisations, local governments, business, institutions, and community members across the region who are determined to see this goal realised.

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West is the lead agency for the Respect 2040 partnership.

Respect 2040 builds on work undertaken over the last decade, in both the Great South Coast and the Barwon regions. Starting when 100 people from 52 organisations in the Great South Coast came together in 2012 to address the gendered problem of family violence; and the G21 Geelong Region Alliance’s commitment to the prevention of violence against women as a shared partnership.

In August 2023, Respect 2040 partners in the Great South Coast region and Barwon (G21) region decided to merge and create Respect 2040 Barwon South West. In 2024, a new partnership structure was agreed as part of this transition inaugurating a new phase for the partnership.

Respect 2040 brings together leadership and dedication from across the Barwon South West to build a  thriving cross-sector partnership which is 100% committed to short and long-term strategic actions to end violence against women, girls, and gender diverse people.

Violence against women is a problem of epidemic proportions in Australia, including in the Barwon South West region of Victoria. Rates of family violence in regional, rural and remote locations are higher than in urban areas. Geographical factors, social norms and attitudes specific to life in these communities influence the experience of violence.

  • On average, 1 woman is killed every 9 days by a current or former partner in Australia
  • 65% of women with disabilities report at least 1 experience of violence since age 15
  • Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children
  • Violence against women contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 25 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor
  • In 2022, Violence against women and children is estimated to have cost the Australian economy $13.6 billion
  • From 2021 to 2023 there was a 5.3% increase in police recorded family violence incidents (per 100,000 people) in the Barwon South West compared with a decrease of -.04% in inner city Melbourne.

Respect 2040 takes a primary prevention approach to address the underlying social conditions that produce violence against women and that excuse, justify or even promote it. It is based on the national evidence-based framework, Our Watch’s Change the Story.

Change the Story identifies 4 gendered-drivers of violence against women:

  • Driver 1. Condoning of violence against women
  • Driver 2. Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life
  • Driver 3.Rigid gender stereotyping and dominant forms of masculinity
  • Driver 4. Male peer relations and cultures of masculinity that emphasise aggression, dominance and control

Primary prevention works across the whole population to  embedding essential actions that dismantle the gendered drivers of this violence –  and create long-lasting cultural change to prevent it occurring in the first place.

Respect 2040 is part of the national and statewide primary prevention system. Alongside the Change the Story evidence-based framework, it aligns with State and Federal plans and strategies to advance gender equity and prevent gender-based violence such as:

  • Our equal state (2023-2027), Victoria’s gender equality strategy and first state gender equality action plan
  • The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children (2022–2032), and First Action Plan (2023 – 2027) the overarching national policy framework that guides actions towards ending violence against women and children over the next 10 years
  • Free from Violence – Second Action Plan (2022 – 25), Victoria’s strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women

Guiding Documents:

Guiding Documents:

Guiding Documents:

Respect 2040 is about establishing a coordinated and coherent regional approach to disrupting the drivers of gendered violence. As lead agency for Respect 2040, WHWBSW has recently implemented a partnership restructure to increase sustainability, growth and collective impact.

  • The R2040 Executive Governance Group will oversee the strategic direction of the partnership, establish robust foundations of a thriving partnership, support action groups to sustain evidence based primary prevention, as well as promote Respect 2040 to other regional leaders.
  • The Respect 2040 Alliance will be the heart of the partnership and will do the work of turning the Respect 2040 Strategy into actions to disrupt the gendered drivers of violence in their organisations, services, and communities.
  • Support is provided to R2040 partners through a Community of Practice, on-line resource hub, and training to build the understanding and capacity of members to undertake evidence based intersectional primary prevention of violence against women.

The long-term commitment of the Respect 2040 regional partnership enables many-multiple actions to eradicate the gendered-drivers of violence to be sustained and ultimately scaled to a level impacting widespread social transformation.

Respect 2040 is a regional partnership of organisations, local governments, agencies, educational institutions and community groups 100% united in ending violence against women in the Barwon South West.

Our current partners include…

Email projects@womenshealthbsw.org.au
Phone 03 5500 5490

© 2020 Respect 2040. All rights reserved.

We proudly acknowledge Aboriginal people as the first peoples, Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands and waters on which this work occurs. We acknowledge and respect the wisdom, living culture and unique role that Aboriginal people hold, and saw them thrive for thousands of years. We also acknowledge the ongoing leadership role of the Aboriginal community on gender equality and the prevention of violence against women. As First Peoples, our Aboriginal communities are best placed to determine their own culturally appropriate path to gender equality.

We acknowledge the support of the State Government of Victoria Office for Women - Free from Violence Women’s Health Service Capacity Building Fund.