Professional development for PVAW Practitioners
Legal and policy frameworks and evidence of best practice is rapidly evolving in the primary prevention area. As a practitioner focussed on the prevention of violence against women (PVAW) in your work or a contributor to PVAW (e.g. a communications worker in a health service), you must regularly update your skills and knowledge of contemporary intersectional PVAW work through training and engage in peer supported reflection space like communities of practice.
The Victorian Government “Preventing Family Violence and Violence Against Women Capability Framework” is guiding future development of the prevention workforce with plans for all prevention workers to have particular skills and knowledge and in the future vocational qualifications. This Framework supports the Building from Strength: 10-Year Family Violence Industry Plan for Family Violence Prevention and Response released in December 2017.
All PVAW Practitioners – new, intermediate and advanced
There are a number of different forms of professional development offered for PVAW practitioners and contributors. These include the following:
- Communities of Practice (CoP) bring together practitioners at different levels to workshop strategies for PVAW, on new legal or policy frameworks, good practice guides, successful PVAW projects, as well as peer support and reflection space. CoPs include:
- Prevention of Violence Against Women (GEN VIC)
- Communications (GEN VIC)
- CoPs conducted regionally through women’s health services and their regionalPrevention Partnerships
- Prevention in Practice Online Network (DVRCV)
- Masterclasses offered by Women’s Health Victoria
- Conferences such as GEN VIC’s 2019 Forum “Under the Radar: Contemporary Challenges for PVAW Practitioners”
- Forums e.g. Women’s Health Goulburn North East on Healthy Masculinities
New PVAW workers (practitioners and contributors)
At a minimum new PVAW workers, both practitioners and contributors should undertake training to:
Orientate yourself to Prevention of Violence Against Women knowledge base
- Complete GEN VIC’s e-learning module. Takes 40 minutes
- Download and read the accompanying “Self-Guided Orientation Toolkit for preventing violence against women. Pilot edition” pdf
- Attend the annual women’s health service Orientation Day which gives a broad overview of women’s health service and PVAW (women’s health services PVAW practitioners only)
Identify and respond to disclosures of violence
You should able to confidently and appropriately manage and refer disclosures if they arise in your prevention work setting. While primary prevention is distinct from response work, it is common that prevention work may trigger those you are working with to disclosure personal experiences of violence.
Manage backlash and resistance to prevention of violence against women
PVAW workers often experience challenging responses from others. Practicing good communication and facilitation methods, and how to manage resistance in group workshops or in one-on-one settings is vital for successfully delivering workshops. Good skills in this area are a vital aspect of self-care, and is an essential Occupational Health and Safety measure.
- Managing resistance to gender equality for policy and practice (Vic Health)
- Managing Backlash (Our Watch Practice Guide)
Get in touch with Gender Equity Victoria for more information.