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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Two steps forward, one step back: Community attitudes to violence against women

General Material

This paper describes "violence-supportive attitudes and beliefs" and their influence on individual and community responses to violence. The authors analyze trends that demonstrate shifts in these beliefs since 1995. According to the study: "Most Victorian women and men, regardless of their socio-economic status or cultural background, did not hold Ôviolence-supportive' attitudes on many of the measures used in the survey. Attitudes had improved on most measures since 1995."

This study measured:

  • Beliefs about the prevalence and seriousness of violence against women
  • Understanding of who perpetrates and is affected by violence
  • Belief in explanations diminishing men's responsibility for violence
  • Beliefs about victim, community and systemic responses to violence
  • Preparedness to intervene in situations of domestic violence


The article also discusses theories and evidence behind the formation and change of community attitudes, reviews a number of campaign themes and approaches that have been undertaken, and makes recommendations for effectively influencing community attitudes towards violence against women.