Appendix B: Evaluation of Family Violence Initiative Activities at the Public Health Agency

Appendix B: Approaches in other countries

National approaches to addressing family violence in other selected countries


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Injury Center: Violence Prevention

The United States has adopted a public health approach to the prevention of family violence. The family violence prevention activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are based on the following principles:

  • An emphasis on primary prevention of violence perpetration: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes efforts that prevent violence before it occurs. CDC focuses on reducing the factors that put people at risk for perpetration, while increasing the factors that protect people from becoming perpetrators of violence.
  • A commitment to a rigorous science base: Monitoring and tracking trends, researching risk and protective factors; rigorously evaluating prevention strategies, programs and policies; and learning how to prevent it.
  • A cross-cutting perspective: Public health encompasses many disciplines and perspectives, making its approach well-suited for examining and addressing multifaceted problems like violence. A cross-cutting perspective involves different sectors, such as health, media, criminal justice, epidemiology and social sciences to name a few, but it also involves an examination of how different forms of violence relate to one another. For example, exposure to violence as a child is associated with interpersonal violence perpetration and victimization.
  • A population approach: Part of public health's broad view is an emphasis on population health and not just the health of individuals. Violence is experienced acutely by individuals, but its consequences and potential solutions affect society in general. The long-term goal is to change the factors and conditions that place people at risk by reducing rates of violence in society.

The Division of Violence Prevention is a division within the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and, while the division does not have a national Clearinghouse on family violence, its website contains much of the same type of information:

  • information about specific forms of family violence, such as child maltreatment, intimate partner abuse and elder maltreatment
  • fact sheets on numerous family violence-related subjects
  • up-to-date publications
  • a list of current initiatives and links to other sites.

The site also allows the user to subscribe to email updates, access its Facebook page and access live chats on twitter.


Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse

National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their children

The department within the Australian government that corresponds most closely to the Public Health Agency of Canada is the Department of Health and Ageing. The issue of family violence is housed with the Australian Government Office for Women (OfW) within the Department of Health and Ageing. On February 15, 2011 the Minister for the Status of Women announced the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. The National Plan provides the framework for action by the country, state and territory governments to reduce violence against women and their children.

The central goals of the National Plan are to:

  • reduce violence against women and their children
  • improve how governments work together
  • increase support for women and their children
  • create innovative and targeted ways to bring about change.

The National Plan focuses on preventing violence by raising awareness and building respectful relationships in the next generation. The aim is to bring attitudinal and behavioural change at the cultural, institutional and individual levels, with a particular focus on young people. The National Plan sets out a series of four three-year Action Plans. The Action Plans have been designed in three-year cycles so governments can review the strategies and actions once they are implemented and can design future government efforts to be as effective as possible. This cycle will allow governments to respond to emerging priorities as new evidence becomes available and circumstances change.

Australia has a Domestic and Family Violence National Clearinghouse on Family Violence that is operated by the Centre for Gender-related Violence Studies, School of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of New South Wales, and funded by the Women's Safety Agenda through the Office for Women, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

This Clearinghouse:

  • publishes current news and events
  • provides an online Research and Resources database, locating information and identifying any gaps in available information
  • provides an online Good Practice database, maintains a separate compilation of Indigenous research
  • makes available online and by subscription Clearinghouse publications
  • publishes newsletters, issue papers and stakeholder papers quarterly and provides links to related sites and papers.

The Clearinghouse also provides a link to a National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line. The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is a free telephone and online confidential service for all Australians.


Family Violence Prevention Strategy and Ministry of Social Development

Te Rito: New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy

The Ministry of Social Development in New Zealand coordinated the development of the New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy, a strategy that was developed by government and non-governmental agencies working in partnership. The goals of the Strategy are to:

  • bring about attitudinal change by encouraging intolerance to violence in families, and by ensuring members of society understand its dimensions and manifestations, and play their part in preventing it
  • achieve an effective, integrated and coordinated response to situations of violence in families and to ensure that quality services are available and accessible to all
  • prevent violence in families by providing children, young people and their families with education and support, and by identifying violence early
  • ensure that approaches to the prevention of family violence are culturally relevant and effective for: whanau, hapu, iwi and pacific peoples and other ethnic populations
  • ensure a consistent and ongoing commitment to the prevention of family violence.

New Zealand also has a clearinghouse for family violence information, operated by the University of Auckland and funded through the Families Commission – an autonomous Crown Agency. The Clearinghouse provides:

  • access to an annotated bibliographic database
  • a good practice database
  • fact sheets and newsletters that can be downloaded or sent via email by subscribing to the Clearinghouse mailing list
  • a Community Action Toolkit
  • an up-to-date list of national initiatives
  • information regarding upcoming events and new additions to the Clearinghouse as well as links to other websites.
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