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Knowledge, skills and attributes required for prevention work

Summary

A summary of skills that are good to have or develop in your work in primary prevention of violence against women.

As prevention practice continues to emerge as a field of work, our understanding of the knowledge, skills and attributes required to do this work is also growing. The following provides a brief and preliminary overview of the knowledge and types of skills and attributes required to undertake prevention work. You can use this to recognise those you already have and the ones that you may need to work on further.

Knowledge

This is your theoretical understanding of the issue. This can be gained from reading Change the story and this website and having a clear understanding the drivers of violence and the essential actions to prevent violence against women.

You can access other research and resources related to preventing violence against women offered on this website and you will have your own experiences working in prevention.

Such knowledge can have profound impacts on the way you work as a prevention practitioner. For example, the evidence demonstrates that the change required for prevention does not come about from working with individuals alone, but requires work at the community, organisational, institutional and societal level. This radically affects the way we design our programs and initiatives.

Skills

These can be developed and built over time and are what you need to put your knowledge and understanding into practice.

While formal qualifications are still in development, key skills required include being able to communicate ideas about prevention and to work with others to put prevention into practice.

Attributes

General qualities or characteristics define the sort of person you are. While we often think of attributes as central to our sense of identity, this does not mean they cannot be strengthened or even changed as we gain new life experiences and knowledge.

Key attributes in prevention work can include determination, positivity, resilience, creativity, innovation, an inclusive approach and collaboration. Other key attributes include a commitment to gender equality and social justice, and a willingness to work from the evidence that gender inequality is at the core of violence against women, which can sometimes be personally challenging.

When undertaking work in prevention, remember that you can ‘bring people in’ who have the knowledge or skills that you may not yet have to assist your initiative. This can provide an opportunity to learn from them as well as strengthen the work as a whole.

How your university can promote gender equality and contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence

Educating for equality
A black and white illustration of four people. A man and a woman stand side by side, leaning against a window chatting. A woman in a wheelchair moves towards them. A woman with a cross shoulder bag walks by.

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