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RESEARCH REPORT

Rante-rante ampe Marle and Urreye:
“Safe, Respected and Free from Violence” projects evaluation

Dr Chay Brown

Research and Partnerships Manager,
The Equality Institute

Dr Sarah Homan

Senior Research Associate,
The Equality Institute

Carmel Simpson

Co-coordinator of the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group,
Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation

Loksee Leung

Research and Evaluation Senior Manager,
The Equality Institute

This report addresses work covered in the ANROWS research project RF.20.01 “Rante-rante ampe Marle and Urreye “Safe, Respected and Free from Violence”: An evaluation of primary prevention projects”. Please consult the ANROWS website for more information on this project.

ANROWS research contributes to the six National Outcomes of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022. This research addresses National Plan Outcome 3 – Indigenous communities are strengthened and National Plan Outcome 2 – Relationships are respectful.

Suggested citation:

Brown, C., Homan, S., Simpson, C., & Leung, L. (2021). Rante-rante ampe Marle and Urreye: “Safe, Respected and Free from Violence” projects evaluation (Research report, 05/2021). ANROWS.

Dedication

This report is dedicated to the memory of Luke Batty, 20 June 2002–12 February 2014.

We would also like to dedicate this report to R. Rubuntja, who actively contributed to both projects in this evaluation. R. Rubuntja was a founding member of the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group.

“We grieve now and then we mobilise, we will continue, it just may take a minute. We will be inspired by our sister’s legacy; we will not let her be forgotten and then we will ask you to stand with us against family and domestic violence.”

Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group, 2021

We hope that this report can serve R. Rubuntja’s legacy and contribute to work we all have to do to end violence against women.

EQI Acknowledgement of Country

We would like to acknowledge the Arrernte people of Mparntwe on whose Country this research was conducted. We would like to acknowledge their Elders, past and present, and pay our respects to their emerging Elders for their leadership, strength and resilience in preventing violence against women. We would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians on whose lands we wrote this report: the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people in Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country and the Arrernte people of Mparntwe in Arrernte Country.

We extend this respect to all Indigenous peoples of this continent and its adjacent lands, recognising their cultures as the oldest continuous living cultures in human history. We recognise the deep and enduring spiritual connections Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have with the lands, oceans, waterways, air and sky. Furthermore, we acknowledge and pay our respects to Indigenous and First Nations people and other traditional custodians of the many lands where the EQI works around the world. We acknowledge that the land we live, work and play on always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

We recognise that violence and suffering are an inextricable part of our country’s colonial past and that the impacts of colonisation continue to this day. Australia is built on the stolen lands of hundreds of Aboriginal nations, each with their own rich traditions, languages and cultures. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded. The EQI recognises that, as non-Indigenous people of this country, we benefit from the ongoing effects of colonisation, including a system that continues to displace, disadvantage, discriminate against and harm Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In light of this history, we also acknowledge the incredible strength, knowledge, skills and lived experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; it is a resilience that remains unbroken, even after more than 60,000 years.

Here at the EQI, we are continuing to build our understanding of the ongoing impacts of colonisation and commit to move forward in ways that contribute to positive change. We commit to Makarrata (a process of truth-telling and restoration, then healing, after a dispute), to acknowledge our collective histories and to listen deeply to Indigenous peoples’ stories and experiences, recognising that their traditional knowledge has been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource that benefits us all. We work – both internally within our organisation and externally with partners – to promote anti-racism and dismantle systems and structures of oppression. We do this knowing it will challenge us and require courage. Acknowledging the need to address systemic power imbalances and unequal power dynamics within partnerships, the EQI will strive to work in fair and equal partnership with Indigenous communities and organisations.

Regarding our work and purpose – the prevention of violence against women and girls – we understand that all forms of oppression are interlinked and, so, we cannot address gender inequality without also addressing racial inequality. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and other Indigenous peoples around the world, as leaders and knowledge holders in this space. We particularly pay our respects to and acknowledge the strong Indigenous women leading this work. We are committed to listening, learning and working alongside one another with humility, perseverance, and open hearts and minds. It is our hope that we can be a contributor to a future that is just and free from violence for communities everywhere.

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The Equality Institute

PO BOX 810
Northcote VIC 3070

Tangentyere Council Logo

Tangentyere Council.

4 Elder Street
Alice Springs NT 0870

Funding acknowledgement

The Equality Institute gratefully acknowledges the financial support it has received from the ANROWS Research Fund to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (the ANROWS Research Fund), specifically the Luke Batty Foundation legacy funds gifted to ANROWS, for this research. The findings and views reported in this paper are those of the authors and cannot be attributed to ANROWS.

Acknowledgement of lived experiences of violence

ANROWS acknowledges the lives and experiences of the women and children affected by domestic, family and sexual violence who are represented in this report. We recognise the individual stories of courage, hope and resilience that form the basis of ANROWS research.

Caution: Some people may find parts of this content confronting or distressing. Recommended support services include Sexual Assault Referral Centres in:

Alice Springs: 08 8955 4500

Darwin: 08 8922 6472

Katherine: 08 8973 8524

Tennant Creek: 08 8962 4361

Other local services can be found here: https://www.ntcoss.org.au/directory

National helplines are also available: 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) and Lifeline (13 11 14).

© Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation 2021

Author acknowledgement

We would like to thank all the partner organisations – Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation, Larapinta Child and Family Centre, and italk Studios – who shared their expertise with us. The continual generosity and perpetual hope of the people working in the domestic, family and sexual violence space in Central Australia inspires us.

We would also like to acknowledge the Tangentyere, Larapinta and italk staff and students who conducted and analysed the research alongside us: Maree Corbo, Shirleen Campbell, Marly Wells, Marisa Kelly, Louis Egger, Finn Grayson, Dane Neil, Chris Forbes, Quentin Denieul, Steph Blake, Meredith Brabon, Georgia Knight, Jess Hartman, Sara Maiorino, Kat Jacobs, Luke Maloney, Lena McCormack, Saskia Craigon, Thea Soutar and Madeline Simioni. Without you, this research could not and would not be.

It is our hope that this research can provide inspiration and further drive the amazing work already underway. It is our hope that we can be a contributor in creating a strong future for women, children and men in the Northern Territory and across Australia.

Contents

Acronyms

Definitions and concepts

Executive summary

Background

Aim and objectives

Method

Findings

Recommendations for policy and practice

Directions for future research

Introduction

Domestic, family and sexual violence in the Northern Territory

The primary prevention projects

Evaluation aims and questions

Methodology

Methods

Ethics

Quantitative component

Qualitative component

Data analysis

Ethical considerations

Key findings

Baseline and endline attitudinal surveys with project participants

Baseline and endline attitudinal survey comparison

Key informant interviews with SRFV staff

Social media survey

Animation survey

Staff training feedback surveys

Discussion

Strengths and limitations

Directions for future research

Implications and recommendations for policy and practice

Conclusion

References

APPENDIX A: Baseline interview tool

APPENDIX B: Endline interview tool

APPENDIX C: Social media survey tool

APPENDIX D: Animation survey tool

APPENDIX E: Baseline and endline survey tool

APPENDIX F: Additional baseline attitudinal survey tables of results

APPENDIX G: Additional endline survey tables of results

APPENDIX H: Additional tables of results from baseline and endline respondents

Acronyms

Acronym

Definition

AIATSIS

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

ANROWS

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety

CAAMA

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association

CAHREC

Central Australian Human Research Ethics Committee

DFSV

Domestic, family and sexual violence

GCBC

Girls Can Boys Can

KII

Key informant interviews

LCFC

Larapinta Child and Family Centre

MBCP

Men’s behaviour change program

MCDC

Mums Can, Dads Can

NCAS

National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey

OWS

Old Ways are Strong

TFVPP

Tangentyere Family Violence Prevention Program

TWFSG

Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group

TMFSG

Tangentyere Men’s Family Safety Group

SRFV

Safe, Respected and Free from Violence

VAW

Violence against women

Definitions and concepts

Term

Definition

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people / Indigenous people

This report will use “Aboriginal people” or “Torres Strait Islander people” to refer to individual Indigenous people of Australia and the Torres Strait, and “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people” when referring collectively to the Indigenous people of Australia. The terms “Indigenous” and “non-Indigenous” will be used when differentiating between colonised Indigenous peoples of Australia and non-Indigenous people of Australia. The term “Indigenous” will also be used when referring to groups or places of unknown mixed Indigeneity, as used by AIATSIS and in common usage in the Northern Territory, and “other First Nations” will refer to other colonised Indigenous peoples from places outside of Australia and the
Torres Strait.

Avoidance relationship

Avoidance relationships in Aboriginal culture are those relationships where certain people are required to avoid others in their family or kinship group, such as, but not limited to, men avoiding their mothers-in-law. Traditionally this was to avoid incest and maintain harmony (McConvell et al., 2018).

Domestic, family
and sexual violence

Domestic violence is typically used to refer to acts of violence that occur between people who have or once had an intimate relationship. The term family violence describes violence targeted at spouses and partners as well as people in a family relationship, including a relative according to Aboriginal tradition or contemporary practice. Sexual violence can occur in intimate partner and family contexts; in our communities, workplaces and schools; and in other circumstances. Sexual violence includes sexual harassment, sexualised bullying, sexual pressure and coercion, and sexual assault, including rape (Northern Territory Government, 2018).

Jealousing

In some Central Australian contexts, jealousing is a verb used to describe controlling behaviours that are often performed publicly to sanction real or imagined sexually inappropriate behaviour (Brown et al., 2021).

Violence against women

Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life (United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993).

The report will use the term “violence against women” but will also use “domestic, family and sexual violence” (DFSV) as this term is most commonly used in the Northern Territory and among project staff. However, this report acknowledges
that DFSV is gendered, and acknowledges that the victims and survivors of this violence are most commonly women and children, and the perpetrators are most commonly men.

Executive summary

“Rante rante ampe Marle and Urreye”

is in Arrernte and roughly translates to

“Girls and Boys are Equal”.

The report was named by the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group.

Background

The Northern Territory has extremely high rates of violence against women (VAW), of which the most common forms are domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV; Northern Territory Government, 2018). Aboriginal women are overrepresented as victims of DFSV and are hospitalised at 40 times the rate of non-Indigenous women due to assault (Northern Territory Government, 2018). To date, very little research has been conducted on prevention of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Moreover, research designed specifically for remote contexts and program evaluations is needed to better inform our understanding of what works to prevent VAW (Cripps et al., 2019; Guthrie et al., 2020).

The Girls Can Boys Can (GCBC) project was developed by the Tangentyere Family Violence Prevention Program (TFVPP) in partnership with the Larapinta Child and Family Centre (LCFC). The objective of the GCBC project was to use a community development approach to create gender-equitable early childhood messaging and produce resources for distribution across Mparntwe/Alice Springs. The Old Ways are Strong (OWS) project was developed in partnership between Tangentyere Council and italk Studios. The OWS project specifically aimed to challenge colonial narratives around Aboriginal relationships and gender roles, specifically that violence against Aboriginal women is “just their culture”.

The project partnership of TFVPP, LCFC and italk brought the two projects (GCBC and OWS) together in collaboration. The two projects were governed by the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group (TWSFG), a group of senior Aboriginal women from Alice Springs Town Camps campaigning against family violence. The Tangentyere Men’s Family Safety Group (TMFSG) also provided input and guidance. With funding from Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), the Equality Institute (EQI) undertook an evaluation of the two primary prevention projects. The Safe, Respected and Free from Violence (SRFV) evaluation is the first formal evaluation of primary prevention projects carried out in the Northern Territory with a focus on primary prevention within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Aim and objectives

The evaluation was underpinned by Indigenist research methodology and made use of a mixed-method approach to assess participants’ attitudes and beliefs about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures, and whether participants’ engagement with the project impacted their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs.

The evaluation aimed to:

  • construct a baseline of participants’ attitudes and beliefs about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures
  • assess the overall impact of the projects on participants’ attitudes about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures
  • assess the impact of resources and products and the extent to which they communicate key anti-violence, anti-racist and gender-equitable messages to a wide audience
  • begin establishing the evidence base about primary prevention in the Northern Territory and primary prevention within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Method

The evaluation made use of a participatory approach in which staff from the project partnership were involved in all aspects of the research process: conception and design of the evaluation, development of research tools, data collection, data analysis and writing up the findings. The evaluation employed both quantitative and qualitative methods. The evaluation included:

  • baseline and endline attitudinal surveys with project participants (conducted in person)
  • social media survey (conducted online)
  • animation survey (conducted online)
  • baseline and endline interviews with project partnership staff (conducted in person)
  • post-training surveys to gather staff feedback (conducted in person).

The evaluation methods were selected by the project partnership and the evaluation tools were developed in an iterative process drawing upon the knowledge and guidance of the project partnership. This flexible and adaptive approach ensured the evaluation was conducted in a way that is most appropriate and comfortable for Aboriginal people.

The baseline data were collected between October and November 2020. Collection methods included eight baseline interviews with SRFV project staff, and 31 baseline surveys with project participants.[1] The endline data were collected between March and June 2021 from eight endline interviews with SRFV project staff, 29 endline surveys with project participants (only 11 of these respondents participated in both the baseline and endline surveys), 110 surveys with social media users, 18 surveys with animation audience members and 36 feedback surveys with staff post-training. In total there were 225 participants in the evaluation.

Findings

Baseline and endline attitudinal surveys with program participants

  • Respondents were unlikely to justify violence based on non-conformity to traditional gender roles.
  • Respondents were more likely to justify violence in cases or situations associated with “jealousing”.
  • Although survey participants were likely to have highly gender-equitable views in relation to gender roles, 52 per cent of endline respondents still found violence to be justifiable in one situation or another.
  • The greatest differences in respondents’ attitudes between baseline and endline surveys were in the questions specifically about what girls/women can or should do that boys/men cannot or should not (and vice versa). Twenty-five individual responses to these questions demonstrated a positive shift in respondents’ attitudes between baseline and endline surveys. This is likely reflective of the explicit and direct messaging of the GCBC project that girls and boys can and do like the same activities.

Baseline and endline key informant interviews

  • Key informants are not aware of any dedicated primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory. Key informants who work in primary prevention are doing this work in addition to their other roles and feel unsupported in their primary prevention work.
  • The baseline and endline interviews showed that workforce capacity has been developed considerably by the two projects.
  • Endline interviews showed that SRFV staff had increased their knowledge about primary prevention and their understanding of the drivers and causes of VAW.
  • Participants identified the need for greater funding and training for primary prevention and the entire DFSV sector and related agencies in the Northern Territory.

Social media and animation surveys

  • Both the social media and animation surveys showed that the projects’ gender-equitable messaging was successfully communicated to the audience.
  • Anti-violence messaging was less successfully communicated, as this was not explicit in the resources or the animations.
  • Ninety-five per cent of social media survey respondents and 83 per cent of animation survey respondents believed that the material they viewed was important.
  • Sixty-five per cent of social media survey respondents and 39 per cent of animation survey respondents stated that they thought the material they viewed can help prevent VAW.

Training feedback surveys

  • The training feedback surveys showed that workforce capacity was built through the training element of the SRFV evaluation in two key areas: research and social media communications.
  • These surveys also identified a number of future training needs, particularly around cultural awareness and trauma.

Recommendations for policy and practice

Findings from the SRFV evaluation have helped identify key recommendations specific to the project partnership as well as broader recommendations for primary prevention in the Northern Territory.

The recommendations for the project partnership fall in three key areas: clarity of messaging, improved accessibility, and awareness-raising.

  1. In future project activities, the project partnership could use more explicit and accessible messaging to target and challenge highly entrenched attitudes and beliefs, such as the justification of violence, jealousing, and the misconception that traditional Aboriginal cultures are inherently gender inequitable and/or condone VAW.
  2. The project partnership should aim to increase the accessibility of its resources and materials and ensure they are disseminated using a range of platforms (social media, print media, digital media).
  3. The project partnership should continue to educate about, raise awareness and increase understanding of VAW in the community, especially regarding the drivers of VAW and the promotion of gender equality as a means to prevent VAW.

The evaluation findings point to a number of broader recommendations for primary prevention in the Northern Territory. Projects like GCBC and OWS – with limited funding and relatively short timeframes – cannot in isolation prevent VAW in the community. These projects must be supported by other interventions at different levels within an integrated response. To enhance and support primary prevention programs and to prevent VAW, the following recommendations are made.

Workforce support and training

  1. Dedicated primary prevention positions should receive sustained funding and support, to align with the long-term goal of growing the primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory.
  2. Primary prevention programs need to be supported by long-term and adequate funding.
  3. Comprehensive ongoing training programs on the drivers of VAW; how to identify, respond to and support DFSV victims and survivors; and trauma-informed responses should be developed and delivered to workers in the DFSV sector as well as other actors, departments and agencies impacted by DFSV, such as schools, hospitals and police.
  4. Multiple studies and levels of government have called for programs to be evaluated to better inform our understanding of what works to prevent VAW – therefore, evaluations must be supported with research funding and training and a recognition that project staff on the ground do not always have the time, experience and resources to conduct the research. Evaluations should be appropriately funded on top of the project costs.

Targeted and tailored prevention initiatives

  1. Prevention initiatives should have accessibility requirements that consider the translations of language and complex concepts, meeting the needs of persons with disability and people in remote areas.
  2. Programs and responses to prevent and address VAW should focus on and ensure accountability for men who use violence, while supporting women who have experienced violence.
  3. Primary prevention initiatives should be locally designed and context-specific, and developed in partnership with the communities they affect.
  4. Primary prevention initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities should be developed using a community development approach and must be community-driven and governed by members from those communities.

Awareness-raising and transforming attitudes, behaviours and norms

  1. Primary prevention initiatives should educate and raise awareness in the general public about the causes and drivers of VAW in accessible formats and with explicit messaging.
  2. Acknowledging that awareness-raising efforts (such as one-off anti-violence campaigns) alone are not enough to shift harmful attitudes, behaviours and norms, in order to prevent VAW there is the continued need to fund and support long-term, evidence-based prevention initiatives which are appropriate for the Northern Territory and remote community contexts.

Engagement and collaboration

  1. Primary prevention initiatives should be developed in partnership with government departments in order to embed and “mainstream” these initiatives and campaigns, for example with the health department, education department, business and commerce, as well as the criminal justice system.
  2. All national-, state- and territory-level initiatives to address and prevent VAW must involve and collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
  3. Primary prevention initiatives should engage with men and boys and involve them in the development of messaging, content and materials to prevent VAW.

Directions for future research

The SRFV evaluation identified a number of key areas for future research. In addition to the well-documented need for further research on what works to prevent VAW (Brown, 2020; Ellsberg et al., 2015; Guthrie, et al., 2020), further avenues for research include:

  • social norms, with a representative sample in Central Australia to better understand the drivers of VAW, and intersections between these drivers, in the region
  • understanding jealousing and its links to VAW to better inform programming in Central Australia
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s experiences of racialised sexism
  • a national perpetration study to understand the extent, characteristics and underlying drivers of perpetration of VAW in Australia. This research is needed to develop programming to address and prevent VAW in Australia.

Introduction

Domestic, family and sexual violence in the Northern Territory

The Northern Territory has extremely high rates of violence against women (VAW), of which the most common forms are domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV; Northern Territory Government, 2018). The Northern Territory, where police typically attend 61 incidents of DFSV every day, has the highest rates of DFSV in Australia (Northern Territory Government, 2018). Aboriginal women in the Northern Territory experience the highest rates of victimisation of violence in the world (Northern Territory Government, 2018); they are overrepresented as victims of DFSV and are hospitalised at 40 times the rate of non-Indigenous women due to assault (Northern Territory Government, 2018).

While the statistics above illustrate the scale of VAW in the Northern Territory, they do not fully show the severity of the problem. The Northern Territory has the highest rate of DFSV-related homicides in Australia (Northern Territory Government, 2018). However, this fact also reveals little about the extremity of the violence, and the trauma experienced by victims and survivors. These experiences of violence are compounded by additional barriers, challenges and complexities which disproportionately impact communities in the Northern Territory, particularly remote Aboriginal communities, such as lack of phone service, limited infrastructure, poverty, overcrowded housing, previous experience of violence, and intergenerational trauma (Brown, 2020).

In the Northern Territory, these contextual complexities and challenges mean that mainstream frameworks, strategies and interventions aimed at preventing VAW are largely inappropriate or ineffective because they do not acknowledge or account for these complexities (Brown, 2020). The primary response to VAW in the Northern Territory, as elsewhere, has been through mainstream crisis responses. Often mainstream interventions – or those developed for “western” contexts – are inappropriate in Indigenous contexts. Mainstream interventions often seek to solve the problem of VAW by developing programs which place the onus on the woman to leave the abusive relationship and seek safety (Brown, 2020; Cheers et al., 2006; Cripps & Davis, 2012; Day et al., 2012; Dobbs & Eruera, 2014). These often take the form of shelters, refuges or counselling. However, such interventions are largely unsuitable in many Indigenous contexts where relationships are considered permanent and the removal of a woman could take her off Country[2] or sever her support networks (Brown, 2020). There can also be barriers to reporting violence to police, such as fear of racism and child removal, as well as a reluctance to involve police in Indigenous communities (Cripps et al., 2019). Despite these barriers, Aboriginal women do report to police and expect a service from them, but the lack of cultural safety, and sometimes minimising language and behaviour on the part of police, make these interactions fraught (Brown, 2019b, 2019c; Brown et al., 2021). Interventions also occur through the judicial system in the form of incarceration. However, recidivism rates highlight the ineffectiveness of a solely penal approach (Department of Attorney-General and Justice, 2018).

To date, very little research has been conducted on the prevention of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. In 2018, Our Watch developed Changing the Picture, a national resource to support the prevention of violence against Australian Indigenous women. Changing the Picture states that there are three key drivers of violence that intersect to create an environment where Indigenous women are at disproportionate risk of experiencing violence: the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the impacts of colonisation on non-Indigenous people and society, and “gendered factors” (Our Watch, 2018, p. 13). While the gendered drivers of VAW, such as inequitable gender roles, and the impacts of colonisation on Indigenous people, such as dispossession and intergenerational trauma, have been highlighted in the evidence base, the Changing the Picture resource also importantly identifies the impacts of colonisation on non-Indigenous people as a key driver of violence against Indigenous women. The impacts of colonisation on non-Indigenous people include structural racism, power inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, racist attitudes and social norms, racist violence, and condoning of violence against Indigenous people (Our Watch, 2018). These impacts can mean that non-Indigenous people dismiss violence against Indigenous women (Brown, 2020).

Broadly, Our Watch (2018) recommends that in order to prevent violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, programs must challenge misconceptions about violence perpetrated against them. These misconceptions include that violence is a part of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; that violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is exclusively perpetrated by Indigenous men; and that violence against Indigenous women is caused by alcohol or other substance use (Brown, 2019b; Our Watch, 2018).

In line with Our Watch’s (2018) recommendation that interventions must address the underlying drivers of VAW in order to prevent violence against Indigenous women, the objectives of the “Safe, Respected and Free from Violence” (SRFV) projects specifically address the key drivers of violence against Indigenous women identified in Changing the Picture.

The primary prevention projects

The Girls Can Boys Can (GCBC) and Old Ways are Strong (OWS) primary prevention projects were developed based on learnings from the Tangentyere Family Violence Prevention Program’s (TFVPP) 2018 Mums Can, Dads Can (MCDC) project. The MCDC project sought to capture a picture of what gender stereotypes look like in Central Australian Town Camp communities, before using a strengths-based approach to flip these concepts and challenge gender inequality and rigid gender stereotypes in Aboriginal communities. The MCDC project has not been formally evaluated, but has been praised for its innovative approach and culturally safe ways of working with Aboriginal communities (Duncan, 2020). The highly engaging MCDC messaging and communications products, which were developed collaboratively with community members, were widely disseminated through print media, merchandise and online social media platforms, reaching more than 100,000 people in locations all around the globe.

The GCBC project has been developed by the  TFVPP in partnership with the Larapinta Child and Family Centre (LCFC). The project was first developed in December 2019 with project implementation starting in mid-2020. The project expanded MCDC into the early childhood space with families, parents and children. TFVPP (which has expertise in primary prevention of DFSV) and LCFC (which has expertise in early childhood education) partnered to engage families, communities and children in gender-equitable early childhood resource and message development with the aim of seeing the next generation grow up safe, strong and free from DFSV. This partnership, and the development of primary prevention messages and resources in the early childhood space, expanded on what has already been achieved by the TFVPP’s MCDC project since June 2018. The objective of the GCBC project was to engage a minimum of 10 families and 12 community champions in the development of primary prevention gender-equitable early childhood messaging and produce resources for distribution across the Mparntwe/Alice Springs community over a 12-month period. The primary targets of the project include the general community of Mparntwe/Alice Springs, early years educators, parents and carers. The objectives of the resources were to challenge gender stereotypes, to promote gender equality to prevent VAW, and to increase positive representation of Aboriginal children and families. The GCBC project also developed training and an educational resource toolkit for early years educators in two primary schools in Mparntwe/Alice Springs. In all resources, the project further aimed to increase positive representation of Aboriginal children and families.

The OWS project was developed in partnership between Tangentyere Council and italk Studios, an organisation which makes educational videos and community resources for clients across Australia. The OWS project was also developed in December 2019 and implementation commenced in mid-2020. This project aimed to address social attitudes and norms that create the conditions for gender-based violence against Aboriginal women and condone this violence. Through the creation of messaging and animations, the OWS project aimed to create awareness about the underlying drivers of violence: gender inequality and the impacts of colonisation on Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The OWS project aimed to challenge colonial narratives around Aboriginal relationships and gender roles, specifically that violence against Aboriginal women is “just their culture”. The objectives of the OWS project were to produce community-driven resources to combat racism and promote healthy relationships free from violence. The primary target audience was therefore the general community of Mparntwe/Alice Springs, particularly non-Indigenous people. The OWS project produced and distributed eight animations on local television network Imparja, as well as on social media. The draft animations were piloted using the animation survey in February 2021 with three people in Victoria who had limited interaction with Aboriginal people and communities. From these tests, it was apparent that some of the key gender-equitable and anti-violence messages were too subtle or, arguably, absent from the draft animations. As a result, the OWS project, led by italk, redesigned some elements of the animations and added a strapline to the end of each animation: “In our culture, Aboriginal women and men are equal.”

The project partnership brought the two projects (GCBC and OWS) together to ensure the messaging in each complemented the other, as well as to share resources and to assist in their dissemination. As part of the projects, a series of workshops was held with community members in which the storylines, script, strapline and artwork for the OWS animations and the characters, messaging and artwork for the GCBC projects were developed. The projects used the messaging developed in the workshops to produce posters, T-shirts, animations and social media content, which were then disseminated throughout Central Australia and online. These messages and resources were also used by the projects as part of awareness-raising campaigns and to deliver training sessions with early years educators, learning centre staff, safe house staff, parents and other community members.

The two projects were governed by the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group (TWFSG), a group of senior Aboriginal women from Alice Springs Town Camps campaigning against DFSV and endeavouring to bring visibility to Aboriginal women’s experiences. The Tangentyere Men’s Family Safety Group (TMFSG), a group of senior men from Alice Springs Town Camps, also provided input and guidance.

Evaluation aims and questions

With funding from Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), the Equality Institute (EQI) undertook an evaluation of the GCBC and OWS projects (the partnership projects). The methodology for the evaluation was first developed alongside the partnership projects in December 2019. The evaluation utilised a mixed-method approach to assess participants’ attitudes and beliefs about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures, and assess whether participants’ engagement with the project impacted their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs. The evaluation also assessed the extent to which resources and media developed by the partnership projects effectively communicated key anti-violence, anti-racist and gender-equitable messages to their audiences.

The evaluation aimed to answer the central evaluation questions:

  1. To what extent do participants report that the partnership projects changed their attitudes about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures?
  2. What are the impacts of the partnership projects on the participants/target groups? (This could include any impacts on participants’ knowledge, capacity, confidence, attitudes, etc.)

The evaluation further aimed to answer the secondary evaluation questions:

  1. To what extent have the resources and media developed by the partnership projects communicated and disseminated key anti-violence, anti-racist and gender-equitable messages to their audiences?
  2. To what extent has local primary prevention workforce capacity been developed through the project partnership?

In addition to the above questions, the evaluation aimed to:

  • construct a baseline of participants’ attitudes and beliefs about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures
  • assess the overall impact of the projects on participants’ attitudes about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures
  • assess the impact of resources and products and the extent to which they communicate key anti-violence, anti-racist and gender-equitable messages to a wide audience
  • begin establishing the evidence base about primary prevention in the Northern Territory and primary prevention within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Methodology

The evaluation was grounded in Indigenist standpoint theory and took a strengths-based approach. Critically, the evaluation also employed a participatory action research approach, in which staff from the project partnership – TFVPP, LCFC and italk – were involved in all aspects of the research process: the conception and design of the evaluation, the development of research tools, data collection, data analysis and writing up the findings. Approximately 20 staff from the project partnership were recruited and trained to conduct quantitative data collection. Staff received training on gender and violence, and safe and ethical research, and tested the survey tool. A small cohort of staff were trained in data analysis and participated in drafting the evaluation report and presenting the findings.

There were many advantages in recruiting and training the project partnership staff and working with them to carry out data collection. This participatory approach built local research capacity and staff developed skills in research, data collection, and monitoring and evaluation. Through the training facilitated by the EQI, the staff also improved their knowledge of gender equality, gender-based violence and other gendered concepts. Staff provided feedback on the training sessions, and this information was incorporated into the project evaluation and used to identify further training needs.

The evaluation also took an intersectional approach. Many of the research participants were from Aboriginal communities, including Town Camps, within Central Australia. Recognising that many other factors – in addition to Indigeneity and gender – can impact on the experiences of women and their exposure to violence and harassment, the evaluation methodology took an intersectional approach, accounting for other forms of discrimination or inequality such as ableism and homophobia. The evaluation tools collected demographic data on people’s identities – for example, there were five options for gender and the ability to select multiple options in all tools to allow gender diverse people to self-identify in a way that was gender-affirming. During the data analysis, the data were disaggregated into different identifying factors to glean the views of people with diverse experiences. Where the data showed notable differences between groups, this was examined through further analysis and reported as key findings. The selection of research participants and staff researchers ensured diversity in terms of gender, language group, age group and background.

Research which employs Indigenist methodology must apply the following Indigenist principles:

  • Indigenist research must include an analysis of imperialism and situate the research within its historical context of colonisation (Ball & Janyst, 2008; Smith, 1999).
  • Indigenist research is specifically emancipatory and aimed at fostering self-determination and restorative social justice (Ball & Janyst, 2008; Kite & Davy, 2015; Rigney, 2006; West et al., 2012).
  • Indigenist research must privilege the voices of Indigenous people (Kite & Davy, 2015; Rigney, 2006; Smith, 1999; West et al., 2012).
  • Indigenist research must be grounded in Indigenous epistemology and ontology (Aveling, 2013; Cochran et al., 2008; Martin & Mirraboopa, 2009; Rigney, 2006).
  • Indigenist research must be carried out in partnership with Indigenous people: “nothing about us without us” (Ball & Janyst, 2008; Rigney, 2006; Smith, 1999; West et al., 2012).
  • Indigenist research must be of relevance and benefit to Indigenous people (Ball & Janyst, 2008; Cochran, et al., 2008; Rigney, 2006; Smith, 1999).
  • Those who work on Indigenist research partner with Indigenous people to disseminate the findings and ensure that Indigenous people maintain control over their own cultural knowledge (Rigney, 2006; Smith, 1999; West et al., 2012).

As the seven principles demonstrate, it is not that Indigenist methodology advocates any particular methods as such, but rather it argues that research methods should be selected in consultation with Indigenous people and conducted in culturally sensitive ways (Rigney, 2006; Smith, 1999). The emphasis is therefore on culturally appropriate methods. Therefore, each of the evaluation methods were selected in close collaboration with the project partnership during the projects’ development phase. The methods were selected to align with the priorities and agenda of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, and were selected in collaborative workshops with Indigenous staff, including Town Campers.

The SRFV projects evaluation was guided by the central principles of Indigenist methodology, which place the evaluation within the context of self-determination and the historical context of colonisation. Specifically:

  • The research team sought to privilege the voices of Indigenous people, particularly project participants.
  • The evaluation was carried out in partnership with Indigenous people and Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation, as well as the other project partners (LCFC and italk).
  • The evaluation sought to be of relevance and benefit to Indigenous people by helping to improve primary prevention within Aboriginal communities.
  • The research team partnered with the project partnership, led by Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation, to disseminate the findings, which will include the development of plain English communications products to feed back to Aboriginal communities in Central Australia. The communications products will ensure the evaluation findings are fed back to participants, Aboriginal communities and non-Indigenous communities in a way that is creative, accessible and useful.
  • The evaluation seeks to support and uphold data sovereignty by ensuring that Tangentyere Council retains ownership of the data and that cultural knowledge remains with Indigenous people. In practice, this means that Tangentyere has full ownership of all existing and future intellectual property stemming from this evaluation. It also means that raw data will be de-identified then stored with Tangentyere Council who can choose to use them again in the future.[3] Tangentyere Council also co-owns the research report with ANROWS.

In this evaluation, Indigenist methodology was centred. The research team understood this to mean that any choices we made must first take into account whether they were culturally appropriate and fitting with Indigenist methodology.

Methods

The evaluation employed both quantitative and qualitative methods. The approach included:

  • baseline and endline attitudinal surveys with project participants (conducted in person)
  • social media survey (conducted online)
  • animation survey (conducted online)
  • baseline and endline key informant interviews (KIIs) with project partnership staff (conducted in person)
  • post-training surveys to gather staff feedback (conducted in person).

To align with Indigenist principles, these evaluation methods were selected by the project partnership and the evaluation tools were developed in an iterative process drawing upon the knowledge and guidance of the project partnership. This also included testing the tools and working with Indigenous people – including Town Campers – and Aboriginal organisations to ensure the methods, questions, concepts and language were culturally appropriate. This flexible and adaptive approach ensured the evaluation was conducted in a way that is appropriate and most comfortable for Aboriginal people.

Ethics

The SRFV evaluation gained ethics approval from the Central Australian Human Research Ethics Committee (CAHREC) in October 2020, and the first round of fieldwork to collect baseline data was conducted between October and November 2020. This included:

  • eight baseline interviews with SRFV project staff
  • 32 baseline surveys with project participants.

The second round of fieldwork was conducted between March and June 2021 and included:

  • eight endline interviews with SRFV project staff
  • 29 endline surveys with project participants
  • 110 surveys with social media users
  • 18 surveys with animation audience members
  • 36 feedback surveys with staff post-training.

Quantitative component

The quantitative component was made up of baseline and endline attitudinal surveys, an online survey on social media content and an online survey on the animations.

Attitudinal surveys with project participants

The baseline attitudinal survey was undertaken with project participants[4] who were community members aged 16 and above residing in and around Mparntwe/Alice Springs. All participants were engaged directly or indirectly with at least one of the two projects (GCBC and OWS). The respondents were recruited by the project partnership organisations. Workshops were held at the Tangentyere offices, at LCFC and at other venues in Mparntwe/Alice Springs. At the beginning of the workshop, the facilitator went through the participant information sheets and consent documents, then asked respondents if they would like to participate in a survey. Respondents who self-selected to complete a survey then went to a private space with a staff researcher to undertake the survey. The survey questions were designed to gain an understanding of the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes project participants had about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures at the beginning of the project. The survey questions were adapted from the South Tarawa Healthy Living Study: An Impact Evaluation of the Strengthening Peaceful Villages (SPV) Violence Prevention Intervention in Kiribati, which was modelled on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) survey on women’s health and domestic violence against women, the UN Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence (UNMCS), and the SASA! community men’s survey (Miedema et al., 2019). These questions were tested with project staff, and were adapted to fit the local context and to use language that was easily understood by community members. Some additional, contextually specific questions were also developed with project staff, tested, and included in the survey.

To prepare the team for the baseline survey, the EQI delivered a data collection training workshop with 20 project partnership staff, in which staff received training on gender and violence, and safe and ethical research, and tested the survey tool.

The endline survey contained additional survey questions. These questions were added because in the baseline survey, the project partnership staff thought some respondents may have been confusing the question about their attitude with their own behaviour and/or the social norms in the community in general. We therefore clarified the original questions so it was clearer to respondents when we were referring specifically to respondents and their own families. We also added explicit questions about behaviours and social norms to the endline survey to explore the possible differences between attitudes, behaviours and norms in the community.

The endline survey also included questions designed to capture participants’ views about the projects. Ideally, the same participants would have taken part in both the baseline and endline surveys to allow changes in attitudes to be assessed, however, due to the small sample size and participant attrition, the endline survey was also designed to be conducted with project participants who did not complete the baseline survey.

Both surveys were largely quantitative, however, they also included four qualitative questions. The endline survey also included qualitative questions about participants’ engagement with project materials, and asked questions about what they learned from the project. Researchers were also trained to take notes and write down any comments when they completed the survey with participants. These comments were used in the analysis to contextualise and help make sense of people’s responses.

Descriptive quantitative analysis was conducted on baseline and endline attitudinal survey questions, while the qualitative questions were analysed thematically.

Samples for attitudinal surveys with project participants

The project participants had different means of participating in the partnership projects and, hence, the evaluation.

  • The LCFC respondents participated in the GCBC project through the LCFC and were likely to be exposed to workshops and/or project resources either at the centre or on social media.
  • The men’s behaviour change program (MBCP) respondents were all recruited from an MBCP, a program for men who have used violence. An MCDC workshop was delivered in the MBCP, and these respondents were likely to have seen GCBC project resources in the sessions.
  • The TMFSG respondents are members of the TMSFG who provided input and guidance into both OWS and GCBC projects through workshops. These respondents were also likely to see OWS animations on television, and GCBC resources at the Tangentyere offices and other locations throughout Mparntwe/Alice Springs.
  • The TWFSG respondents are all members of the TWFSG who governed the two projects and provided input into the resource development through workshops. These respondents were also likely to see OWS animations on television, and GCBC resources at the Tangentyere offices and other locations throughout Mparntwe/Alice Springs.

Exposure for the endline cohort was based on whether and how much participants had been exposed to certain materials or participated in programs. Although the endline survey was designed to be conducted with project participants who had directly and indirectly taken part in the project, 28 per cent were classified as having no prior exposure to Tangentyere programming (all men), 31 per cent had low exposure (five women and four men), 7 per cent had medium exposure (both women), and 34 per cent had high exposure (five women and five men). This cohort was recruited from the MBCP program, which only runs for 16 weeks, after which the participants often return to remote communities. This means that the baseline survey respondents who engaged in the GCBC project had left by the time of the endline survey. To protect the confidentiality of the baseline survey participants, only the research team had access to their re-identifiable data, so SRFV staff recruited from groups and programs they believed were likely to have engaged with or seen the project content.

Social media survey

The social media survey was taken by audience members who viewed project content on social media, and focused on assessing the reach and impact of some of the resources and messaging developed by the GCBC project. The social media survey consisted of 29 questions (see Appendix C) in three parts: participant information, attitudes and beliefs, and the resources. The questions were designed to glean participants’ attitudes about gender, VAW, and violence and Aboriginal cultures. Participants were then shown four GCBC resources (see Figure 1) and asked for their thoughts about the resources, what they understood from the resources, and their views about the prevention of VAW. The questions in Section 3 of the social media survey were designed to assess to what extent the animations were successful in communicating their gender-equitable, anti-violence and anti-racist messages, and to see what impacts they had on social media users.  Respondents were offered an incentive to complete the surveys: participants could self-select to go into the running to win a GCBC merchandise pack.

Figure 1: GCBC posters used in the social media survey

Four GCBC posters used in the social media survey. Top left: Girls and boys can use their imagination! Top right: Girls and boys can work together! Bottom left: Girls and boys can play on country! Bottom right: Girls and boys can play dress ups!

The social media survey was conducted in March 2021. The survey was distributed using the TWFSG Facebook page and the TFVPP Instagram profile, and the posts were then shared by several organisations on their social media pages. Members of the public were invited to partake in the online survey with all survey respondents eligible to enter a draw to win a GCBC prize pack. Initially, the respondents were given two weeks to complete the survey, but within three days there were already more than 80 responses (the objective was to achieve 50 responses). The research team looked at the demographics of the respondents, and attempted to gather more responses from men through targeted emails sent through Tangentyere’s networks, but within a week there were more than 100 responses, so the decision was made to end the survey before the original cut-off date. In total, there were 171 responses to the social media survey, of which there were 110 complete responses. All partial responses were deleted and were not included in the analysis.

The responses were analysed using cross-tabulation as well as a thematic analysis of qualitative answers. All results were also analysed and disaggregated by gender and Indigeneity. Where there have been significant findings based on gender and Indigeneity disaggregation, we have presented these in the Results section.

Sample for social media survey

The proposed sample size for the social media survey was 50 to 70 respondents. The sample size was selected to provide enough breadth to assess whether key anti-racist, anti-violence and gender-equitable messages were conveyed, but also to fit within the scope of this small evaluation.

Animation survey

The animation survey was undertaken by audience members immediately before and after viewing the animations and was focused on the assessing the impacts of the animations produced by the OWS project.

The animation survey consisted of 35 questions (see Appendix D) in three parts: participant information, attitudes and beliefs, and the animations. The structure of the animation survey mirrored that of the social media survey: the questions in Section 2 asked about participants’ attitudes towards gender, VAW, and violence and Aboriginal cultures. They were then asked to watch the animations (a single video comprising eight animations), and asked about the animations. The objective of the animations was to challenge the misconception that men are superior to women in Aboriginal cultures and to challenge the belief that violence against women is permissible in Aboriginal cultures. The questions in Section 3 of the animation survey were designed to assess to what extent the animations were successful in communicating their gender-equitable, anti-violence and anti-racist messages, and to see what impacts they had on the audience members.

The animation survey was conducted in April 2021, and was distributed prior to the release of the animations on Imparja. The animation survey was distributed by the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association’s (CAAMA) website and Facebook page, and the survey was also distributed by Chansey Paech, the Member for Gwoja, via his Facebook page. The Central Land Council and the EQI also distributed the survey on their social media pages, and it was also posted on an online community bulletin board. The survey included an incentive and participants could go in the running to win a GCBC prize pack.

Despite extending the survey period for three weeks, it was difficult to recruit participants for the animation survey and there appeared to be some difficulty for participants in playing the animations on mobile phones. There were 50 responses to the animation survey, but only 18 of these were complete. All partial responses were deleted and not included in analysis.

Sample for animation survey

The proposed sample size for the animation survey was 20 respondents. Although anyone could participate in this survey, the objective of the animation survey was to gather responses from members of local Northern Territory communities, and it was specifically targeted at non-Indigenous people as this is the key target demographic for the animations. Hence, a sample size of 20 was selected to acknowledge the small scale of the study and the small population size of the target group, while also allowing enough scope to assess whether anti-racist, anti-violence and gender-equitable messages were communicated to the audience.

The animation survey data were disaggregated and analysed by gender and Indigeneity, however, because of the extremely small numbers of respondents in the animation survey, only overall findings from the animation survey are being presented in this report.

Qualitative component

The qualitative component was made up of baseline and endline key informant interviews and a post-training survey.

Key informant interviews with program staff

The key informant interviews took place at the beginning and end of the project to assess staff members’ primary prevention knowledge and the extent that workforce capacity had been developed through the project partnership. These interviews could be conducted individually or in groups, according to staff preference.

The interviews were semi-structured and comprised six questions (see Appendices A & B). In the baseline interviews, these questions were designed to capture baseline knowledge and understanding of SRFV project staff prior to commencing work on the SRFV primary prevention projects. Endline interview questions were designed to assess whether staff members’ knowledge, skills and/or capacity had been developed through working on the projects. Both the baseline and endline interview questions focused on SRFV project staff members’ knowledge of primary prevention, gender and violence, and their attitudes towards violence and Aboriginal cultures. Both interviews also collected data on participants’ needs for professional development, and their knowledge about the primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory. Although ideally the same staff would participate in baseline and endline interviews, baseline interviews were conducted with staff who had not participated in a endline interview.

Sample for baseline and endline key informant interviews

The proposed sample size for the baseline and endline interviews was five. This sample size was selected in recognition of the relatively small number of staff who would be involved in delivering the projects, however, the collaborative nature of the projects meant that many more staff came to be involved.

Training feedback surveys

Feedback on the training sessions delivered by the EQI was also gained through post-training surveys. Staff were invited to give their views on the training session: what they learned, how the training could be improved, and what other training needs they may have. The training feedback surveys were conducted after each training session facilitated by the EQI. Four training sessions had a cumulative total of 43 participants (some participants attended multiple training sessions), who were all staff from the partnership organisation or members of TWFSG. The training sessions, topics covered and number of participants are outlined in Table 1.

Table 1: Training topics and number of participants

Training session

Topic(s) covered

Number of participants

1

Gender, violence against women, qualitative and quantitative research (methods and theory), data collection, testing the baseline survey

21

2

Revision of topics from session 1, data collection (quantitative and qualitative), testing the endline survey, findings from the interim (baseline) report

14

3

Social media communications (content and messaging)

4

4

Social media communications (content and messaging)

4

The training feedback survey was a paper survey, collected at the end of the training sessions, that consisted of three qualitative questions:

  1. What did you learn from today’s training?
  2. What else would you like to have learned about or how could the training be improved?
  3. What other research or other training would be helpful?

The questions were designed to gain participants’ feedback on the usefulness on the training, as well as to improve future training and identify future training needs. As the questions were qualitative, the training feedback was analysed using thematic analysis.

Sample for the training survey

The proposed sample size for the staff training feedback was 20. This sample size was selected based on the number of staff who would be involved in the training.

Data analysis

While initially we planned for all evaluation data to be analysed using grounded theory, cross-tabulation and trend analysis, we shifted our approach, drawing upon grounded theory and thematic analysis for the qualitative data, while using descriptive analysis and reporting on frequencies for the quantitative data.

 Grounded theory derives from a rejection of deductive modes of analysis wherein a theory is proved or refuted by the dataset (Timmermans & Tavory, 2012). Rather, grounded theory comes with the objective of creating new theory through the use of induction: the researchers moved back and forth between data and theory reflectively and iteratively to check their inferences (Glaser & Strauss, 1967/2006; Timmermans & Tavory, 2012). The process of abduction was used to create new theory from data (Brown, 2019b). Abduction is the creation of theory based on surprising evidence (Timmermans & Tavory, 2012).

The evaluation planned to make use of cross-tabulation to allow the research team to draw inferences from different datasets, and we had planned to use trend analysis to assess and understand any attitudinal change between the baseline and endline attitudinal surveys (QuestionPro, 2020). However, as the sample sizes were relatively small, we instead used descriptive analysis and reported the frequencies – or the number of differences between baseline and endline – for both individuals and whole cohorts.

In this evaluation, analysis included disaggregating the data by gender and Indigeneity for the baseline and endline data, as well as means of participation and any other relevant factors. We have only presented significant findings based on this disaggregation in the results.

Ethical considerations

There were many ethical considerations for this evaluation including the need to work in partnership and in a capacity-building way with Indigenous people; minimising risk to participants; and ensuring informed consent, confidentiality and cultural safety.

Working in partnership

As this evaluation was conducted in partnership with an Indigenous organisation and was centred on SRFV projects, the involvement of Indigenous people was critical. To ensure the evaluation was respectful of, and of benefit to, Indigenous people, the research team consulted with Aboriginal people and TFVPP on the evaluation design and methods. The evaluation methods were selected to ensure that they were in keeping with an Indigenist research methodology and were culturally appropriate. Furthermore, the research team communicated with TFVPP throughout the evaluation process to make sure the evaluation remained respectful and appropriate.

As this evaluation focused on the partnership projects and project participants’ assessment of the projects, staff were trained in methods to minimise power differences between researchers and participants where possible. Additionally, both projects made use of highly participatory approaches which saw the projects and their outputs developed through collaboration with project participants and their communities. The existing relationships between staff and project participants provided a source of support for participants, so that they could share their open and honest opinions.

Roles and responsibilities of the research team and project partners

Respect and negotiating informed consent have also been central to the evaluation aims, and were initially undertaken by clearly communicating the roles and responsibilities of the research team and each of the project partners. It was the research team’s responsibility to consult with the project partnership to:

  • select appropriate methods of evaluation and ways of disseminating the findings
  • collaborate with the project partnership to collect and analyse data
  • produce a report for the project partnership
  • ensure Aboriginal people and Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation retain intellectual property rights over their own cultural knowledge
  • assist the project partnership, where requested, to disseminate the findings as agreed.

The roles and responsibilities of the project partnership were to:

  • liaise with and advise the research team
  • undertake data collection training and conduct baseline and endline attitudinal surveys with Aboriginal people aged 16 years and above
  • provide guidance and knowledge on appropriate methods for data collection
  • collaborate and share internal project data and contextual information with the research team
  • help the research team access project participants, and invite them to participate in a survey
  • distribute the social media survey on their social media platforms
  • disseminate the evaluation findings in whatever way they wish.

These roles and responsibilities were developed in consultation with Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation, on behalf of the project partnership.

Reporting, intellectual property and data sovereignty

The data collected through this evaluation will continue to be owned by the project partnership, led by Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation. This means that this report, authored by the research team, will be controlled and disseminated in a manner that the project partnership deems suitable, in consultation and partnership with ANROWS. The report’s findings will be communicated to external stakeholders and project participants in a format agreed with the
project partnership.

Research capacity development

The evaluation also included a strong workforce research capacity development component and made use of project partnership staff as co-researchers to undertake the baseline and endline attitudinal surveys. By recruiting and training the project partnership staff and working with them to carry out data collection, this approach built local research capacity and created a stronger sense of ownership for the evaluation and the evaluation findings within the project partnership organisations and their communities.

Risk to partners and participants

There was a risk that participants may become distressed through participating in the evaluation. Although participants are not asked about their specific experiences, they were still asked about sensitive topics which could have potentially been upsetting.

To mitigate this risk to participants and to encourage them to feel comfortable to share their full and honest opinions, the research team, along with Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation, developed a risk management strategy. All baseline and endline attitudinal surveys were undertaken in person with a staff researcher. The research team followed a step-by-step process, outlined below, in the event that an individual became distressed when completing the survey. The following strategy was used to mitigate against unnecessary trauma or retraumatisation and to safely and ethically respond to participants who became distressed:

  • Prior to commencing the survey, the researcher worked through the participant information sheet with the participant to obtain informed consent. The researcher then made the evaluation aims clear.
  • Participants were provided with the contact details of local support services.
  • If an individual became distressed by the survey, the researcher stopped the survey and asked the individual if they would like to continue.[5]
  • The researcher provided the distressed person with details of support services. The researcher asked the individual who they would like to speak to (this may be a service they are already connected to), before supporting the participant to access the service or directing the service to the distressed person to support them.
  • If the distressed individual did not want to speak to a particular support service, the researcher offered to put them in touch with another local support service or with another trusted person, such as a family member.
  • The individual was advised to contact local services for support and was provided with their contact details.

Informed consent

Researchers ensured that all evaluation participants were able to give fully informed consent. The researchers worked closely with project partnership staff to ensure participants understood the participant information sheets. Moreover, the research team worked with staff researchers to ensure clear communication that participation was voluntary and that participants could withdraw consent at any time up until the writing of the final report in June 2021. The research team and staff researchers are familiar with working with Aboriginal people in research and were confident consent was gained in a way that was voluntary and informed. All participants were provided with CAHREC details to contact if they had any concerns about how the evaluation had been conducted.

The withdrawal of consent meant that any information previously provided to the research team could not be used. All stored material would be destroyed if a participant decided to withdraw their consent and their decision would be fully supported by the researcher. Participants were advised that they did not have to provide a reason for withdrawing their consent. No information was used without the full consent of the individual to whom the research material relates – this meant that should a participant die before the drafting of this report, their information could not be used. One research participant was killed in the time between the baseline and endline attitudinal surveys, and all of their personal information and data were deleted.

The evaluation was conducted in English with some minor translations of words and/or concepts. Project partnership staff assisted with and advised these translations. Many participants spoke English as an additional language, but all participants spoke sufficient English to participate in the survey, and the staff researchers also assisted to communicate the survey questions and probe in a way that participants could understand.

Oral forms of communication, particularly for consent, were used in preference to written forms to overcome issues around written literacy. The oral consent form was delivered in simple English and staff researchers assisted to communicate this in a way that was understandable for participants to ensure they were able to consent to participating in the research. A script was also developed to help staff communicate the contents of the participant information sheet in an understandable way.

Confidentiality

During the evaluation, only the research team had access to the information provided by the participants. In order to preserve confidentiality, the information was stored using codes in place of respondents’ names. Also, the data were stored in digital encrypted form in password-protected online cloud drives accessed only by the research team. The anonymity of research participants was protected using codes and by redacting identifying features. Participants in the baseline survey were re-identified (with their consent) by the principal investigator only, in order to contact them to participate in the endline survey. Participants in the social media survey and animation survey were provided with the option of providing an email address to be contacted further about the evaluation. Otherwise, no other identifying information was stored for these participants. The training feedback survey was also anonymous.

The project partnership may request to use the analysed data from this evaluation for their own work and development, but this will only be shared if the participant consents, or in an unidentifiable way – that is, not raw data.

Cultural safety and Aboriginal people

The design of the evaluation, the recruiting of the Indigenous organisations and the selection of methods has been carried out in accordance with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies’ (AIATSIS) principles of ethical research in Australian Indigenous studies, outlined in Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (2012). Of particular relevance are the following principles:

  • Principle 4: Rights in the traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions of Indigenous peoples must be respected, protected and maintained.
  • Principle 6: Consultation, negotiation and free, prior and informed consent are the foundations for research with or about Indigenous peoples.
  • Principle 8: Consultation and negotiation should achieve mutual understanding about the proposed research.
  • Principle 10: Indigenous people have the right to full participation appropriate to their skills and experiences in research projects and processes.
  • Principle 12: Research outcomes should include specific results that respond to the needs and interests of Indigenous people. (AIATSIS, 2012, p. 2)

The research team has sought to adhere to these principles by taking an Indigenist methodological approach to the design of the project in an attempt to develop a culturally appropriate methodology. The project partnership, led by Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation, has also driven the evaluation process to ensure the design was collaborative, culturally sensitive and respectful. Moreover, the evaluation aimed to frame the findings in the lens of self-determination by delivering data collection training throughout the evaluation, so staff researchers, of whom many are Aboriginal people from Central Australian communities, were able to contribute and develop recommendations that benefit their communities. Ultimately, the evaluation aimed to be of benefit to Aboriginal people by working in partnership with the project partnership to strengthen primary prevention efforts within Aboriginal communities in Central Australia.

Key findings

This section presents the key findings from each of the evaluation methods in the following order: baseline and endline attitudinal surveys; interviews with key informants; social media survey; animation survey; and training feedback survey.

It is important to note the limitations of the evaluation when considering the findings. These include:

  • relatively small sample sizes, which limit comparison between different groups (e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people)
  • low response rate for some methods
  • difficulties in retention, with only 11 respondents completing both baseline and endline attitudinal surveys
  • the short period of time over which the evaluation was conducted, with there being only approximately six months between baseline and endline.

These limitations are discussed further in the Discussion section of this report, but it is important for the reader to bear these limitations in mind when reading the findings.

Baseline and endline attitudinal surveys with project participants

Demographics of the sample

While the target sample size for the baseline survey with project participants was initially 25, the EQI and SRFV project staff deliberately oversampled, collecting data from 31 project participants[6] in case some participants were unavailable for the endline survey. While most baseline survey participants consented to being contacted to participate in the endline survey, only 11 of the baseline participants took part in the endline survey. This was due to the considerable challenges of conducting research with transient and highly mobile populations. Therefore, the endline survey was conducted with a further 18 new participants to extend the sample size out to 29 participants. This ensured a comparable sample size to the baseline survey so enough data could be collected.

Additional analysis was conducted to measure any shifts between the baseline and endline surveys for the 11 participants that completed both surveys. Findings from this smaller cohort are outlined in the section titled “Baseline and endline attitudinal survey comparison”. While only a small sample size, the findings from this cohort still illustrate some important and more direct shifts in attitudes which may be attributed to the projects. Demographic details of the baseline and endline attitudinal survey cohorts (inclusive of the cohort of 11) are described in the section below and outlined in Table 2.

Table 2: Demographic data for the baseline and endline attitudinal surveys

Baseline survey (N=31)

Endline survey (N=29)

Gender

14 women; 17 men

12 women; 17 men

Age

36 years (mean)

37 years (mean)

Cultural background

30 Aboriginal; 1 non-Indigenous

26 Aboriginal; 3 non-Indigenous

Residence

9 Town Camp; 11 public urban housing; 11 Alice Springs suburbs, remote communities or “other”

9 Town Camp; 7public urban housing; 7 Alice Springs suburbs; 6 remote communities, “other” or “prefer not to say”

Relationship status

15 single; 13 partnered – living together; 3 partnered – living apart

13 single; 6 partnered – living together; 10 partnered – living apart

Children

4 with no children; 7 with one child; 20 with two or more children

4 with no children; 5 with one child; 20 with two or more children

Intersecting identities

4 respondents had a disability; 4 were single parents or carers; 2 identified as LGBTQ+ or intersex

2 respondents had a disability; 8 were single parents or carers; 1 identified as LGBTQ+ or intersex

Highest level of western education

4 started primary school but did not finish

2 completed primary school

18 started secondary school but did not finish

7 completed secondary school

3 started primary school but did not finish

2 completed primary school

15 started secondary school but did not finish

8 completed secondary school

1 had an undergraduate degree

Means of participation

13 LCFC; 6 MBCP; 7 TMFSG; 5 TWFSG

7 LCFC; 8 MBCP; 8 TMFSG; 6 TWFSG

Level of exposure

13 none; 6 low; 7 medium; 5 high

8 none; 9 low; 2 medium; 10 high

The Aboriginal respondents come from diverse cultural backgrounds: Arrernte, Luritja, Kaytetye, Warlpiri, Pitjantjatjara, Anmatyerre, Alyawarre, Pintupi, Waramungu, Yanuwa Ngaanyatjarra and Yunkunytjatjara backgrounds were represented. Of the non-Indigenous respondents, all were from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Level of exposure to program and project work

The respondents had different levels of exposure to Tangentyere programs and messaging prior to completing the baseline survey. For the baseline survey, respondents who had two or more years of exposure to other Tangentyere Family Violence Prevention programs were classified as “high”, those who had one to two years of exposure were classified as “medium”, and those with less than a year of exposure were classified as “low”. Those who had no prior engagement were classified as such. Forty per cent were classified as having no prior exposure to Tangentyere programming (nine women and four men), 19 per cent had low exposure (all men), 22 per cent had medium (all men) and 19 per cent had high exposure (all women). In the endline survey, respondents who engaged repeatedly and consistently in the partnership projects, including in developing project materials and/or through multiple means (workshops, training, social media etc.), were classified as “high”, while those who participated intermittently and/or through several means were classified as “medium”, and those who had limited engagement and/or viewed limited project material were classified as “low”. Those who had only viewed project materials were classified as “very low”. Thirty-four per cent were classified as having “high” exposure (five women and five men), 7 per cent were classified as having “medium” exposure (two women), 31 per cent were classified as having “low” exposure (five women and four men) and 28 per cent were classified as having “very low” exposure (eight men).

Results

The following section details the results of the full baseline and endline surveys, totalling 60 respondents (31 baseline respondents and 29 endline respondents). The baseline and endline surveys[7] provided important insights for the SRFV project partnership and for the development of primary prevention initiatives in the Northern Territory. As this evaluation specifically aims to track changes in project participants’ attitudes, the data in this report are not – and do not intend to be – representative of the attitudes of the broader community in Central Australia (see
“Methodology” section).

Gender roles

For individual attitudes on gender norms, project participants mostly held gender-equitable views: they reported that they felt tasks and responsibilities should be equally shared between women and men. However, in both the baseline and endline surveys,[8] respondents reported that in practice, behaviours in the community often reflected clearly defined roles for men and women aligned with gendered stereotypes.

The endline survey, which was expanded from the baseline survey to capture behaviours in the home and norms in the community, highlighted gender-inequitable practices. In particular, answers that showed gender-inequitable practices centred on roles and responsibilities related to childcare, who should provide for the family, who should be the head of the family and who should do the food shopping. For example, in the baseline and endline survey, 87 per cent and 97 per cent of participants respectively thought both men and women should be responsible for “growing up the children”.[9] However, responses to questions added to the endline survey about individual behaviours showed that despite these gender-equitable views, women reportedly did more of the childcare than men. When asked who in their own households grows up the children, 34 per cent of participants said that women only do, while 55 per cent said it was shared between men and women. When asked to reflect on what happens in their community more broadly, 38 per cent said women are mostly responsible for growing up children and 52 per cent said it was shared (see Table 3). One female participant said, “Most women, especially single women are growing up the children. Both should do it, but they [women] got ugly partners. My granddaughter is going through DV right now.”[10] There appear to be strong gender-equitable views that women and men should be equally responsible for growing up the children, however, there also appears to be the acknowledgement that gender equality in parenting is still not a reality in 34 per cent of families and in 38 per cent of peoples’ communities. A few participants also mentioned that grandparents (particularly grandmothers), both in their own homes and in the community, are often growing up the children.

Table 3: Respondents’ attitudes, behaviours and social norms regarding roles traditionally held by women

QUESTIONS

RESPONSES a

Survey

Women
%
(#)

Men
%
(#)

Both
%
(#)

Other %
(#)

Unsure
%
(#)

No answer
%
(#)

TOTAL b %
(#)

11a. Who do you think should grow up the children in the family?

Baseline

6%

(2)

0

(0)

87

(27)

0

(0)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(31)

Endline

3

(1)

0

(0)

97

(28)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

11b. In your home, who does the growing up of the children in the family?

Question included in endline only

34

(10)

0

(0)

55

(16)

10

(3)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

11c. In your community, who normally does the growing up of the children in the family?

Question included in endline only

38

(11)

0

(0)

52

(15)

3

(1)

7

(2)

0

(0)

100

(29)

12a. Who do you think should do the cooking and cleaning?

Baseline

6

(2)

3

(1)

87

(27)

0

(0)

3

(1)

0

(0)

100

(31)

Endline

10

(3)

0

(0)

90

(26)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

12b. In your home, who does the cooking and the cleaning?

Question included in endline only

34

(10)

3

(1)

62

(18)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

12c. In your community, who normally does the cooking and the cleaning?

Question included in endline only

34

(10)

3

(1)

48

(14)

0

(0)

14

(4)

0

(0)

100

(29)

13a. Who do you think should make the decisions about money?

Baseline

10

(3)

13

(4)

77

(24)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(31)

Endline

14

(4)

3

(1)

72

(21)

0

(0)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100

(29)

13b. In your home, who makes the decisions about money?

Question included in endline only

34

(10)

24

(7)

38

(11)

3

(1)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

13c. In your community, who normally makes the decisions about money?

Question included in endline only

7

(2)

28

(8)

45

(13)

0

(0)

21

(6)

0

(0)

100

(29)

The boxes shaded in orange in Table 3 highlight the highest percentage (the most frequent response to that question).
Pale orange shows the next highest percentage. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

One task more clearly thought of as “women’s work” was food shopping. In the baseline survey, while 52 per cent believed both men and women should do the food shopping, 42 per cent believed women should buy food for the household, a higher percentage than for any of the other questions where respondents answered “women” (see Appendices F and G for detailed survey results). Several of the comments from participants indicated that this attitude is due to a couple of different reasons, including that women should be able to manage the finances and buy what is needed for children, and that men cannot do the shopping because they do not know what is needed and will “buy the wrong things”. This is particularly gendered and reflects that women are more likely to do care work, as they “know what is needed” for the children. The endline survey showed more positive results in this attitude however, with only 28 per cent believing women should do the food shopping. The percentage of participants who believed both men and women should do the food shopping was 69 per cent in the endline survey. Questions on behaviour, however, still reflect gender-inequitable practices in the community, with 55 per cent saying women are responsible for the food shopping in their home and 48 per cent of respondents saying that only women are responsible for food shopping in the community. These findings identify opportunities for programs to normalise shared roles and responsibilities between men and women, and challenge some of the rigid gender norms in the community. As one man noted in the baseline survey, he enjoys doing this task, but felt he wasn’t allowed to: “Talk to partner about what they want – I like doing it but really it’s a woman’s job.”

In both baseline and endline surveys, three quarters of respondents felt both men and women should be responsible for decisions about money (77% and 72% respectively). In the endline survey, 24 per cent said men were responsible for decisions about money in their homes, and 28 per cent said that it was normal in the community for men to control household finances. While this indicates that some respondents perceived that in their community men had control of family finances, 34 per cent of participants in the endline survey stated that in their homes, women are in control of the money. There is a sense that women will act more responsibly with money, with comments including: “Because men run away with money and drink. I used to live in a Town Camp, I know what it is like. Shocking.” Similarly to the idea of responsibility for food shopping, there is a sense that women make better financial decisions for the family. As one man said: “They know what to buy. Men buy rubbish stuff. She won’t forget washing powder.”

While the survey findings illustrate a belief that both men and women should provide for, be the head of and protect the family, there are still strong findings to suggest that these are thought of as men’s roles. In the baseline and endline surveys 32 per cent and 45 per cent respectively thought that only men should have a job to provide for the family. In endline surveys, this attitude is reflected in what some respondents observed in practice, with 41 per cent and 45 per cent respectively noting that in their households and community, this breadwinner role is occupied by men. One man said simply, “Men work, and women look after the money.” Another woman said, “While woman is looking after the kids, man needs to get out of the house and earn money”.

Table 4: Respondents’ attitudes, behaviours, and social norms regarding roles traditionally held by men

QUESTIONS

RESPONSES a

Survey

Women
%
(#)

Men
%
(#)

Both
%
(#)

Unsure
%
(#)

No answer %
(#)

TOTAL b
%
(#)

14.Who is the head of
the family?

Baseline

19

(6)

32

(10)

39

(12)

10

(3)

0

(0)

100

(31)

Endline

10

(3)

21

(6)

59

(17)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100

(29)

14b. In your home, who is the head of the family?

Question included in endline only

17

(5)

31

(9)

45

(13)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(29)

14c. In your community, who is normally the head of the family?

Question included in endline only

0

(0)

48

(14)

38

(11)

3

(1)

10

(3)

100

(29)

15. Who should have a job and provide for the family?

Baseline

3

(1)

32

(10)

58

(18)

6

(2)

0

(0)

100

(31)

Endline

0

(0)

45

(13)

45

(13)

3

(1)

7

(2)

100

(29)

15b. In your home, who is expected to have a job and provide for the family?

Question included in endline only

10

(3)

41

(12)

31

(9)

10

(3)

7

(2)

100

(29)

15c. In your community, who is normally expected to have a job and provide for the family?

Question included in endline only

0

(0)

45

(13)

48

(14)

0

(0)

7

(2)

100

(29)

a The boxes shaded in orange in Table 4 highlight the highest percentage (the most frequent response to that question).
Pale orange shows the next highest percentage. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
b Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

Similar attitudes prevail for questions on who the head of the family should be. In the baseline survey 32 per cent thought men should be the head of the family. Encouragingly this dropped to 21 per cent in the endline survey; this may be because the additional questions in the endline allowed for respondents to make a more nuanced assessment of the roles in their homes versus their more gender-equitable views. It may also reflect that endline respondents better understood the question because researchers were more trained and practiced in giving prompts. Encouragingly, 62 per cent of respondents said in their households the head of the family was either shared by both men and women or occupied by women. However, 31 per cent of respondents answered that, in their own home, men are the heads of the family and 48 per cent of respondents felt that, in their community more broadly, men are normally the head of the household.

Likewise, in baseline and endline surveys, 45 per cent and 38 per cent of participants respectively thought that protecting the family was a man’s job, and no one thought it was solely a woman’s role (see Table 5). One woman said in the baseline: “Men have a more protective role.” In the baseline, more than half (52%) of respondents believed that both women and men should protect the family, while this number increased in the endline (59%). When looking at reported behaviours, in the endline survey, 66 per cent of respondents said that in their community both men and women are responsible for protecting the family. One woman said: “They [men] are stronger than women”, while another said, “Depends on the situation”.

Table 5: Respondents’ attitudes, behaviours and social norms regarding who should protect the family

QUESTIONS

RESPONSES a

Survey

Women
%
(#)

Men
%
(#)

Both
%
(#)

Unsure
%
(#)

No answer %
(#)

TOTAL b
%
(#)

18.Who should protect the family and keep them safe?

Baseline survey

0

(0)

45

(14)

52

(16)

3

(1)

0

(0)

100

(31)

Endline Survey

0

(0)

38

(11)

59

(17)

0

(0)

3

(1)

100

(29)

18b. In your home, who protects the family and keeps them safe?

Question included in endline only

14

(4)

31

(9)

55

(16)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

18c. In your community, who normally protects the family and keeps them safe?

Question included in endline only

3

(1)

24

(7)

66

(19)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(29)

a The boxes shaded in orange in Table 5 highlight the highest percentage (the most frequent response to that question).
Pale orange shows the next highest percentage. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

Attitudes on gender power dynamics

In terms of gender attitudes within intimate relationships, most participants demonstrated gender-equal attitudes. For example, in the baseline survey (90%) and endline survey (97%), almost all respondents felt men and women should share the work around the house. Encouragingly, for the question, “Do you think that people should be treated the same whether they are male or female?”, the majority of respondents agreed in both the baseline and endline surveys (87% and 93% respectively).

Gender-inequitable attitudes were evident, however, with nearly a third of respondents (26%) answering in the baseline survey that they thought “a woman should obey her husband/male partner”. In the endline survey, this figure dropped slightly to 21 per cent. One woman said: “He’s not the boss, and woman can do her own thing.” However, 31 per cent also answered “maybe” or “I don’t know”, indicating there is still some uncertainty around equality and gendered dynamics in this area. On whether respondents thought men should have the final say in all family matters, there were more positive results in the endline survey. In the baseline survey, 55 per cent of respondents disagreed that men should have the final say, while 69 per cent disagreed in the endline survey. One woman commented: “No, together. Both should talk to each other.” This potentially indicates some positive improvements in attitudes around women’s roles as important and equal decision-makers in the home.

Attitudes on domestic and family violence

Overwhelmingly, respondents expressed disapproval of men’s use of violence against their female partners, in both baseline and endline surveys. For example, in both surveys, most respondents thought it was okay for a wife to tell someone if her husband beats her (90% in both). All respondents (100%) agreed in both surveys that when a man is violent towards his wife, it will affect their children. In the baseline survey, one woman said, “When they grow up, they’ll be violent too.” In the endline survey, one man commented: “Speak up. That is right. If you hide it, it [violence] will keep going on.”

Between the baseline and endline surveys, there was a negative shift in responses to the question, “Do you think if a man hits his wife/female partner, other people outside of the couple should intervene?”, with 87 per cent and 69 per cent respectively agreeing with this question. In the endline survey, over a quarter of respondents (28%) answered that people outside the couple should not intervene. This is an increase from 10 per cent of respondents in the baseline survey.

There are a few potential explanations for these findings. Of the 29 respondents in the endline survey, there were eight participants who felt that people outside of the couple should not intervene when a man hits his wife/female partner. Five of those were men, many of whom were recruited from a program for men who have used violence in the past, and who may have been thinking that they wouldn’t want others to have intervened in their violence. Moreover, they may associate the word “intervene” with police intervention and, because of the complex history of policing in Aboriginal communities, may not want others to “intervene” by calling the police (Cripps, et al., 2019; see “Introduction”). Another possibility is that there is a prevailing attitude that violence between partners is a private matter, to be resolved between partners (García-Moreno et al., 2015). Finally, it is possible that on reflection respondents might fear for their personal safety, worried they would get hurt if they intervened. This could be based on the assumption that “intervening” can only be in the form of physical intervention. There is an opportunity here to focus programming on educating community members about the different types of bystander interventions that people could make, without risking their personal safety. The above reasons may explain the prevalence of the attitude (that people outside of the couple should not intervene in violence) among participants but does not explain why more participants disagreed with this statement in the endline – this change may just reflect the different opinions of the cohort who participated in the endline.

Attitudes on coercive control

Questions on coercive control were not asked in the baseline survey, however they were added to the endline survey to gauge participants’ attitudes and gather, more generally, much-needed evidence about this particular aspect of VAW in Aboriginal communities.

For most questions, participants displayed generally gender-equitable views. For example, on whether they thought men have a right to tell their partner what to wear, 79 per cent of respondents said “no”.

Table 6: Findings about coercive control from the endline survey

QUESTIONS

RESPONSES a

Yes
%
(#)

No
%
(#)

Maybe
%
(#)

I don’t know
%
(#)

No answer %
(#)

TOTAL b
%
(#)

32. Do you think a man has the right to know where his wife/female partner is at all times?

24

(7)

41

(12)

17

(5)

14

(4)

3

(1)

100

(29)

33.Do you think a man has the right to tell his wife/female partner what to wear?

7

(2)

79

(23)

7

(2)

7

(2)

0

(0)

100

(29)

34.Do you think a man has the right to tell his wife/female partner who she can be friends with?

7

(2)

76

(22)

10

(3)

7

(2)

0

(0)

100

(29)

35.Do you think it is a man’s right to make healthcare decisions for his wife/female partner?

24

(7)

66

(19)

3

(1)

7

(2)

0

(0)

100

(29)

The boxes shaded in orange in Table 6 highlight the highest percentage (the most frequent response to that question).
Pale orange shows the next highest percentage. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
b Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

However, close to a quarter of respondents (24%) felt that men had a right to always know their wife’s or partner’s whereabouts. Forty-one per cent of respondents disagreed with the above statement, with one woman respondent accurately identifying that type of behaviour as “stalking”. It is also worth noting that of the respondents who answered “yes, men had a right to always know their wife’s or partner’s whereabouts”, all were men, while there was a mix of men and women who answered “maybe” and “I don’t know”. This indicates a gendered split when it comes to attitudes on the concept of “jealousing” and, for men in particular, perceived sexual entitlement might play a role in justification of violence and coercive and controlling behaviour (Brown et al., 2021). Jealousy, or jealousing as it is referred to in Central Australia, is a common theme in both the baseline and endline survey findings. Jealousing has become a verb (an action) and is a way for men to use power and control and to justify violence (Brown et al., 2021). Jealousing was a prevalent theme in both the baseline and endline surveys. For example, for the baseline survey, in answer to the question, “Is a man justified in hitting or beating his wife or female partner if she spends time talking to or texting with other men?”, one man, who answered “in the middle”, elaborated further, saying, “They [women] do that hey. Jealousy. It hurts their feelings, no good.” Others recognised jealousing in others in the community but stated they themselves would not get jealous. For example, in the baseline survey, for the question, “Is a man justified in hitting or beating his wife or female partner if she wears tight, revealing, or attractive clothing?”, one man, who answered “in the middle”, said: “A lot of mens would jealousy but not me, cos I’m different.” In the endline survey, in response to whether violence is justified when a woman looks at another man, one woman said: “Men get jealous and try to fight.”

Justification of violence

There were, generally, low levels of justification of violence among respondents, particularly in terms of household gender roles. Furthermore, 87 per cent and 79 per cent of respondents in the baseline and endline surveys respectively did not think violence was justified if a woman goes out without telling her husband/male partner.

In both the baseline and endline surveys, participants were more likely to justify men’s use of violence against their female partners in circumstances related to perceived sexual misconduct or jealousing. For example, in the baseline survey, one in five respondents (19%) thought violence was justified if “she was talking to or texting another man”, while 16 per cent were “unsure” or “in the middle”. Encouragingly, in the endline survey the proportion of participants who felt violence could be justified if “she was talking to or texting another man” dropped to 10 per cent, with 13 per cent still “in the middle” or “unsure”. One man who strongly disagreed that violence was justified went on to say: “You’re going to have arguments but no need to bring it to violence.” Another man who also responded that violence wasn’t justified still indicated that the responsibility lay partially with the woman: “It’s not alright [to use violence], but a lot of that does happen. A woman shouldn’t be texting another man if they have feelings for her.”

While some thought violence could be justified in cases where a woman “looks at another man”, there were no significant differences in attitudes in the baseline and endline surveys. One woman noted: “Men get jealous and try to fight.” A man said:

He should ask what she is doing, not just turn around and hit her. What’s she looking at? Thinking “is that my brother”, if she is looking at other people, can do that. Depends on who? Newly married? Married for 40 years … It’s different, it’s in your past, past has gone.

While the man is, on one hand, expressing disapproval for violence, his comment reveals the various ways people can justify violence in different contexts. He appears to suggest that people think jealousy, and therefore violence, is more justifiable depending on certain factors, like the length of a relationship or who the woman might be looking at.

The above findings indicate that the projects should target messaging and education towards possessive and controlling behaviour and challenge the notion that possessiveness is “normal”, acceptable or even “desirable” in a partner. This is one of the most important and pressing issues for the DFSV sector to tackle in the Northern Territory and it is necessary to explore how this can be done in a way that is congruent with the ‘Hopeful, Together, Strong” principles of good practice (Brown, 2019a).[11]

Participants’ survey responses clearly show how commonly violence was justified in one or more circumstances (including those who answered “in the middle” and “I don’t know”). In the baseline survey, 44 per cent of respondents answered that they could justify violence in at least one or more of the listed circumstances, while 56 per cent believed that violence against women was never justifiable in any of the circumstances. In the endline survey, there was a very slight increase in justification of violence under certain circumstances, with half (52%) stating they could justify violence in one or more circumstances (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Respondents who justified violence in certain situations: Baseline versus endline

This figure contains two pie charts. The first chart is labelled “Baseline survey: Participants who answered violence was justified in certain scenarios (N-31). 56 per cent of responses were “Never”. 44 per cent of responses were “In one or more circumstances”. The second chart is labelled “Endline survey: Participants who answered violence was justified in certain scenarios (N-29). 52 per cent of responses were “In one or more circumstances”. 45 per cent of responses were “In one or more circumstances”. 3 per cent did not answer.

Most of the respondents in both the baseline and endline surveys (77% and 80% respectively) who justified violence in at least one circumstance were male, showing that male respondents were more likely than women to justify men’s use of violence against female partners. Once again, this may reflect that some of the male cohort was recruited from an MBCP (in which they were mandated to participate). They may have reflected on their own use of violence, believing it to be justifiable in certain circumstances. Moreover, many of the project participants in this evaluation had witnessed and/or experienced extreme violence and may be reflecting on these questions by drawing on their own worldview and perspective, rather than seeing them as abstract hypotheticals. Some literature in the evidence base points to the “normalisation” of violence within some communities (Guthrie et al., 2020; Olsen & Lovett, 2016), and if project participants have prior experience of violence, this may have influenced their answers. This shows an opportunity for working further with male participants, tailoring and targeting messages to a male audience that violence is never justifiable. It is important to engage men in the development of these kinds of resources and there are opportunities for the MBCP cohort to be involved in developing resources in future programming, and for TMFSG to provide governance and leadership. Themes of jealousing could be explored in future programming to educate communities that jealousy should not justify violence.

Victim blaming

The baseline survey included one question on victim blaming: most (68%) respondents believed a woman is never to blame if she is raped. One man said: “Not her fault. Man doing wrong thing. Man’s fault.” However, 13 per cent of respondents believed a woman is “always” or “sometimes” to blame when she is raped – two women and two men. Sixteen per cent of respondents (five men) also answered they were “unsure”. One woman, who answered “sometimes”, said: “Some people judge what a woman was wearing.”

For the endline survey, participants were asked the same question, and 69 per cent of participants thought a woman was never to blame if she is raped. Ten per cent believed a woman was “always” or “sometimes” to blame and 17 per cent said they “didn’t know” – all of these respondents were men.

A follow-up question was asked of participants in the endline survey to gauge whether, in their community, when a woman is raped, she is usually blamed. While 31 per cent said “no”, 48 per cent felt women were always or sometimes blamed. One woman who answered “sometimes” said: “They’ll blame her, that it’s her fault, but it’s not her fault.” Another woman who said women were always blamed commented: “See woman walking alone in the street with not much on.” These comments reveal that some respondents may not themselves believe that a woman should be to blame if she is raped, but that they are instead reflecting on the reality that in society and within the broader community, women are often blamed when they are victims of rape. This shows an opportunity for victim blaming to be addressed in future programming.

Norms and Aboriginal cultures

Questions on Aboriginal cultures were posed in both the baseline and endline surveys to determine attitudes on whether people thought violence was a part of Aboriginal cultures.

In the baseline survey, more than half the respondents (55%) thought that in Aboriginal cultures, men were the boss in relationships, while 32 per cent thought both men and women could be the boss. No one thought women could be the boss and 10 per cent were unsure. One man who answered “both/equal” mentioned they had “different lore”. One woman who said “unsure” went on to say: “The women have to respect their man/men. But the women does everything – cooks, cleans, plans bush trips etc. So really is but really, the man is the boss. I don’t want to say it, but it’s true. It’s how it is.”

In the endline survey, more people thought “both men and women were the boss” (38%), and an almost equal number of respondents said “men were the boss” (41%). Seventeen per cent were unsure. This kind of uncertainty might reflect the cultural context, where only people with cultural authority can speak about certain matters. Because respondents were asked about “Aboriginal cultures”, they may have responded with uncertainty as they felt they did not have the cultural authority to provide an answer. One woman who answered “unsure” went on to say: “I want to answer men because that’s what most people believe.” One man said: “Elders, for big culture takes care of men’s stuff and women take care of women’s stuff. But men are in charge over all culture.” Another man said: “Men’s roles and women’s roles are different, but it’s both.”

In the baseline survey, two thirds of respondents (65%) thought it is never “okay for men to use violence against women in Aboriginal culture”. However, 19 per cent responded this was “okay” or “sometimes okay”. One woman who answered “yes [it is okay to use violence against women in Aboriginal culture]” went on to say: “I disagree, but it is a part of Aboriginal culture.” A further 13 per cent were unsure. In the endline survey, 69 per cent stated they thought it was never okay for men to use violence against women in Aboriginal cultures. Ten per cent thought it was “okay” or “sometimes okay”. One man who answered “no” said: “No more this time. Lore’s changed. But it’s hard to stop them.” A woman who said “sometimes” noted: “Blokes think they’re boss and that they own the woman.”

In the baseline survey, for questions on whether women are equally valued in Aboriginal cultures, joint decision-making and beliefs on preventing violence in Aboriginal communities, most respondents expressed gender-equal attitudes. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents answered that women are valued as much as men in Aboriginal cultures, while 77 per cent answered that Aboriginal communities would respect a man who jointly makes decisions with his wife or female partner. For the question “In Aboriginal cultures, are women and men valued as much as each other?”, while only two respondents answered “no”, there was a significant number of respondents who answered “maybe/unsure” (23%).

In the endline survey, however, responses to these questions demonstrated less gender equality. For whether women and men are valued as much as each other in Aboriginal cultures, 48 per cent answered “yes”, while 42 per cent answered “no” or “maybe”. Sixty-nine percent agreed that Aboriginal communities would respect a man who jointly makes decisions with his wife or female partner. This disparity could reflect the different contexts and individual circumstances of the different respondents that were surveyed at baseline and endline. As raised in many of the key informant interviews, this may also reflect that the project prompted conversations that were not previously being had among certain groups, and so prompted some survey respondents to provide a more nuanced assessment in their answer. A similar shift and reflection on the evolution of culture can be seen in the findings from the baseline and endline key informant interviews.

In both the baseline and endline surveys, most respondents also thought that violence was preventable, with 77 per cent of respondents answering that violence could be prevented by Aboriginal communities in the baseline survey. This figure rose in the endline survey to 83 per cent. In the baseline survey, only 6 per cent (two respondents) answered “no” to this question, while in the endline survey no-one answered “no” or “maybe”, although 14 per cent answered that they didn’t know.

For the questions on victim blaming and norms and Aboriginal cultures in both baseline and endline surveys, significant proportions of survey participants answered “maybe/unsure”. There are a few potential explanations for this:

  • a hesitancy to answer “yes” or “sometimes”, or a lack of understanding around the issue. Therefore, more education could be useful to make the message clear that women are never to blame when they are raped

social desirability bias: respondents think women are sometimes to blame for rape or sexual assault, but they also are aware that the interviewer does not agree with that view so the respondents may answer “unsure”. Respondents could have chosen to answer “unsure” because they don’t want to further reinforce the stereotype that violence is innate in Aboriginal cultures. Some male respondents may have felt they should give gender-equitable answers while believing there were situations where they could excuse violence, potentially including their own past actions

  • in Indigenous community contexts, culturally, only certain people are allowed to talk about certain things. This could reflect respondents’ hesitancy to speak about things they feel they shouldn’t speak about.
Attitudes on gender stereotypes

Both the baseline and endline surveys contained open-ended questions that gave respondents an opportunity to respond in their own words on the types of things they thought that boys, men, girls and women could and couldn’t do because of their gender. The four questions were:

  • Is there anything a boy can do that a girl can’t do?
  • Is there anything a girl can do that a boy can’t do?
  • Is there anything a man can do that a woman can’t do?
  • Is there anything a woman can do that a man can’t do?

In the baseline survey, some respondents interpreted these questions in relation to biological functions of female and male bodies, for example answering that “men couldn’t give birth”.[12] Therefore, in the endline survey, these questions were adjusted to ask if there’s anything boys, girls, women and men should do and/or that their counterpart shouldn’t do, to get participants to describe their attitudes more accurately on gender norms.

The GCBC program’s messaging is focused on dispelling gender stereotypes and showing communities that men and women, and boys and girls, can equally contribute to household responsibilities and do the things they enjoy, regardless of their gender. In the baseline survey, it was positive to see many respondents answer that boys and men and girls and women could do things equally. Some participants simply answered “no” to the questions, and this generally increased in the endline survey. This indicates that, broadly, participants felt that men and boys and women and girls could do anything they wanted.

Open-ended responses from the surveys included:

Girls can do anything. Boys can do anything. Both can do anything. (Female respondent, baseline survey)

Both men and women can do the same. Everyone is capable of showing love, feelings, and care. (Male respondent, baseline survey)

If they start doing it at a young age, they’ll find out they can be treated equally. Boys shouldn’t think they can do everything because girls can do everything as well. (Male respondent, endline survey)

Some respondents also specifically pointed out that boys and girls can do specific jobs or tasks that would stereotypically be associated with the opposite gender. For example, one man in the baseline survey said: “Boys can be nurse.” One woman in the endline survey said: “Get a job, a man’s job – today they are doing it. Climbing up doing air con, mining, everything, road works – good thing! Making money like the man!”

A few respondents also noted that girls can play sports that were more stereotypically thought of as “boys’ sports”, like footy. These types of responses could be leveraged in future community messaging to demonstrate to a wider audience that such attitudes were already held by community members and could therefore be used to promote more gender-equal attitudes.

While there was a noticeable positive difference in the endline survey answers, there were still some negative attitudes around gender stereotypes. Respondents held some strong opinions on girls and women being more likely to be responsible for certain home duties, like cooking, cleaning and childcare, while men were thought to be more suited to physically protecting the family. Men were also more likely to be thought of as physically stronger, and therefore more inclined to do hard labour and work with cars. Some respondents said:

Women can clean the dishes, clean the room. Men can’t clean the room. (Male respondent, baseline survey)

Men can fix the car and bikes for kids – women can’t do that. (Male respondent, baseline survey)

Okay for girls to play football, girls shouldn’t go out to work, they should stay home and look after the kids and homes. (Male respondent, endline survey)

One male respondent in the baseline survey also raised the issue of violence, saying: “[Men can] hit. Man can hit woman. Woman can’t do nothing. ’Cause they weak.”

Emotions were raised by a handful of respondents, who stated that girls and women could be more emotional than boys and men. For example, some respondents said:

Never seen a boy cry before. Men don’t show emotions … Women hold emotions and then break down with friends. Men hold their emotions and there’s shame to let it out. (Female respondent, baseline survey)

[Girls can] cry. (Male respondent, baseline survey)

Boys should be tough all the time. (Male respondent, endline survey)

However, in the endline surveys, a few more respondents mentioned that it was alright for both women and men to express their emotions.

It’s okay for boys to do [show feelings, dance, dress up] sometimes. (Male respondent, endline survey)

Okay for both boys and girls to show feelings. (Male respondent, endline survey)

While it is encouraging to see more gender-equitable comments on emotions in the endline surveys, it would be useful if programming built on the momentum of the project and continued to address these gender stereotypes and encourage people to be more accepting of boys and men being allowed to express their emotions in healthy ways.

Respondents also raised gender differences within social relationships, like intimate partners or parents and children. For example, in the baseline surveys, jealousing was again brought up as a reason why girls might not go out to parties and why boys tell them to stay home with family. In the baseline survey, a man also answered that women “can do talking too much. Keep pressure on the man”. A couple of female respondents raised behaviour between sons and fathers, saying: “Men can talk to sons and also sons can ‘growl’ Dad for hitting Mum.” This could reference women’s and men’s business and ceremony with rearing their daughters and sons respectively. It could also be a reference to relationships and learning and teaching culture. A few people thought only girls and women can hang out with each other and “tell each other stories”, indicating mixed socialising could be frowned upon. This could be to do with things like jealousing, but also to do with cultural reasons as well.[13]

Appearance was another main theme to emerge, with respondents saying men and boys and women and girls needed to look a certain way. In the baseline surveys, some said “only girls” could get dressed up and wear make-up and that men can “wear blue and not pink”. There were a couple of responses in the baseline survey that indicated women might take more care to clean their bodies, and one respondent said women can “bikini wax”. In the endline survey, these attitudes were still present, with one male participant saying women can “dress each other up and go to disco”, while another man commented women should “put on make-up”, while men should not.

Interestingly, many respondents in the baseline survey said that boys can do everything that girls can, while fewer thought men could do everything that women can. This was similar for girls and women; more respondents thought girls can do everything that boys can do, while relatively fewer thought women could do everything that men could doThis indicates that attitudes and norms around gender roles are more rigidly applied to adults than they are to children. However, this difference between adults and children was less prevalent in the endline survey and could indicate that the gender-equitable messaging is helping to address gender-inequitable attitudes.

In the baseline survey, a couple of the respondents’ answers may be considered to be gender inequitable, but still demonstrate that participants believe men and boys have a role to play in violence prevention. For example, one woman said: “[Boys can] Growl dad for hitting Mum.” Another said: “Men stop people arguing.” However, these statements also place boys and men in stereotypically gendered protective roles and may mean that respondents believed it is inappropriate for girls or women to intervene and respond to violence. While standing up to violence against women is not to be discouraged – and men and boys should be engaged in the prevention of violence against women and girls – women and men should be equal partners in violence prevention.

Lore and culture

Another theme explored in the attitudinal surveys was Aboriginal lore, and some responses reflected the differences between women’s and men’s business or lore in Aboriginal cultures:

[Men] go through Lore (men’s business) – if there was a trans man I don’t know if that would be allowed. (Female respondent, baseline survey)

[Men can’t do] women’s business. (Male respondent, baseline survey)

[Men shouldn’t do] women’s business that cultural way. (Male respondent, endline survey)

It is important to note here that different does not always mean unequal. In Central Australian Aboriginal communities, different types of knowledge and practices are separated into women’s and men’s business. These include cultural stories, ceremonies and rituals that are specific for men/young men and women/young women. The terms “women’s business” and “men’s business” also refer to gender-specific practices in the contemporary context – for example women’s health screenings (Brown & Corbo, 2020). These lore and roles are equal and complementary, creating a balance between women and men. This is different to western ideas of gender roles which assign more value to men’s roles than women’s, with the gender-inequitable roles creating a power imbalance. Inequitable gender roles have been instilled in Aboriginal communities through the ongoing violence of colonisation.[14] The project partnership can aim to draw upon the strength of traditional Aboriginal cultures to promote gender equity.

Respondents’ views about the projects

The endline survey asked respondents by what means they interacted with the projects and what types of materials they saw (Figure 3), as well as what they learnt from the projects and whether the projects had changed any of their views on gender and violence in Aboriginal cultures. The findings suggest that the GCBC and OWS projects have had some success in increasing awareness and there are some early indications of change in relation to project participants’ ideas about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures.

Figure 3: The ways project participants enngaged in the project

The information in this graph is in the table below

Ways project participants engaged in the project

Number of participants (n=29)

Workshops

13

Resources

23

Social media posts

13

Animations

6

Other

2

Respondents were asked what parts of the GCBC and OWS projects they had participated in or viewed: workshops, resources (such as posters and T-shirts), posts on social media, the OWS animations or other. Participants could select all that applied. The most common form of participation was with project resources. Seventy-nine per cent of participants had viewed the projects’ resources, such as posters, stickers and T-shirts. The second most common means of participation with the projects was both workshops and seeing posts on social media, particularly Facebook, with 45 per cent of participants engaging with each. Twenty-one percent of participants had seen the OWS animations. One person had participated in the surveys only, and another mentioned seeing resources at the Tangentyere office, though they did not specify what they were. Four participants recorded no responses.

Figure 4: Participants’ exposure to multiple aspects of the projects

The information in this graph is in the table below

Participants’ exposure to multiple aspects of the projects

Number of participants (n=29)

Exposed to 1 part

6

Exposed to 2 parts

9

Exposed to 3 parts

6

Exposed to 4 parts

4

No answer

4

Most respondents (31%) had been exposed to two different parts of the projects (see Figure 4). Twenty-one per cent had been exposed to three parts, while 20 per cent had been exposed to only one part of the project. Fourteen per cent had been exposed to four or more parts of the projects.

Close to two thirds of respondents (60%) agreed or strongly agreed that they had learned something from the projects. The people who disagreed (10%) or were in the middle (10%) were men who were from LCFC, the MBCP and TMFSG.

Level of exposure, defined by how long the respondent was exposed to the projects and how many aspects of the projects the respondent had been exposed to (see section “Level of exposure to programming and project work”) did not correlate with respondents reporting that they had learned something new from the projects. While 41 per cent of those respondents who agreed they learned something new had high exposure, another 41 per cent of respondents who agreed they had learned something new also had low exposure to the projects. This question does not assess the level of understanding respondents had reached and it is interesting to consider the qualitative responses when respondents were asked to identify three things they had learned about the projects.

Some respondents were able to say specifically what they learned, regardless of their level of exposure. For example, one woman with low exposure said: “Boys can play with dolls, same like girls. Girls can climb mountains. [They have] same rights, equal rights.” One man who had low exposure said: “From what I’ve seen, it’s about what fathers and mothers can do [the same thing]. [It’s] about kids being kids without stigma.” One woman, who had low exposure to the projects, was able to reflect on how the themes came up in her own relationship, saying: “I often butt heads with my partner about these issues.” However, she went on to say: “Now with this project I am more confident speaking up and telling him about kids being free to be themselves.” That this woman had low exposure to the projects indicates the messages are clear and effective enough to have had a positive impact even with low exposure.

Those with higher exposure were able to offer further nuanced insights into their understandings about and the objectives of the projects. One woman with high exposure said the projects are about “preventing violence against women and making the community stronger”. A man with high exposure said:

I’ve learnt that kids got to be treated equal. Education is the main one – kids need education more – equal rights. We can’t say they can’t do this and that.

The benefits to the participants are evident in these comments. One woman with medium exposure to the projects conveyed not only her wish to have the projects continue, but also that she believed they are having a positive effect on the community, saying: “If we continue [the projects], I think it can make a difference.” Even with low exposure, the projects can convey the key messages. The continuation of the projects and wider dissemination of their associated materials will further increase people’s awareness and understanding of the themes.

Figure 5: Impact of projects in participants’ ideas about the roles of women and men

The information in this graph is in the table below

Respondents’ answers to whether the projects changed their ideas about the roles of women and men

Percentage of participants (N=29)

Strongly agree/agree

55%

Strongly disagree/disagree

14%

In the middle

10%

I don’t know

4%

No answer

17%

Most of the respondents (55%) agreed or strongly agreed that the projects had changed their ideas about the roles of men and women (see Figure 5). An equal number of men and women agreed. Half (50%) of the respondents who agreed with this statement had high exposure to the projects. This indicates that greater exposure among the participants and the wider community could be beneficial for further learning and for changing ideas about stereotypical gender roles. One man commented: “I listened. I was quiet and I listened. And I changed my way of life.”

Only 14 per cent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed, while 10 per cent were undecided (“in the middle”). Those that either disagreed or were undecided had a range of levels of exposure to the projects. Furthermore, a couple of respondents who answered this way clarified that the project didn’t change their ideas about the roles of men and women because they already held gender-equitable views. One woman said: “No, I don’t think changed, I think it just solidified them.”

Figure 6: Respondents’ answers to whether the projects changed their ideas about violence

The information in this graph is in the table below

Respondents’ answers to whether the projects changed their ideas about violence

Percentage of participants (N=29)

Strongly agree/agree

59%

Strongly disagree/disagree

17%

In the middle

3%

I don’t know

3%

No answer

17%

a Due to rounding, total does not equal exactly 100.

More than half of the respondents (59%) either agreed or strongly agreed that the projects changed their ideas about violence (see Figure 6). One man who agreed but had very low exposure was able to clarify what ideas had changed for him, saying: “Instead of drinking all the time, kids need mum and dad. And dads can do things with their kid.” However, high exposure was generally correlated to agreeing with this statement, with 47 per cent of respondents who agreed having had high exposure. One woman who agreed said: “I knew things about violence before the project, but it helped me to understand it better.”

Only 17 per cent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed, and these were both men and women, who had had a range of exposure to the projects.

Figure 7: Respondents’ answers to whether the projects changed their ideas about what Aboriginal cultures say about the roles of men and women

The information in this graph is in the table below

Respondents’ answers to whether the projects change their ideas about what Aboriginal cultures say about the roles of men and women

Percentage of participants (N=29)

Strongly agree/agree

45%

Strongly disagree/disagree

21%

I don’t know

14%

No answer

21%

Due to rounding, total does not equal exactly 100.

Almost half of the participants (45%) agreed or strongly agreed that the project changed their ideas about what Aboriginal cultures say about the roles of men and women (see Figure 7). Once again, higher exposure was correlated with agreement, with 46 per cent respondents with high exposure either strongly agreeing or agreeing. More people disagreed with this statement (21%) than other questions on similar themes. At least some of the comments clarify this further, illustrating that they disagreed because they already held similar views and therefore their ideas remained unchanged. One woman said: “I always had the ideas about men and women should be equal.” However, one man exhibited gender-unequal views with his comment. Despite agreeing, he went on to say: “We don’t want our girls to be tomboys or grow up for boys to be girl. We are worried for their safety, sometimes I read bible too.” Nevertheless, generally participants displayed positive views in their ideas about what Aboriginal cultures say about gender roles and many attribute this to the projects.

Almost half the respondents (45%) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “The project changed my ideas about what Aboriginal cultures say about violence.” One man who agreed with this statement went on to say: “I strongly believe men can change. A caring, loving man that does equal chores.”

Once again, higher exposure is correlated with agreeing with this statement, as 54 per cent of respondents who agreed were classified as having a high exposure. There was a fairly even split between men and women who agreed. Again, for a few who disagreed with this statement, their comments illustrated that this was because they already held the view that Aboriginal cultures condemn violence. One woman commented: “I already knew that Aboriginal cultures says it’s wrong.” However, one man who displayed gender-unequal views thought this was a part of Aboriginal cultures, saying: “Girls meant to be doing girls’ stuff and men to do men’s stuff. It is my culture, so I know about culture.”

Overall, the respondents’ views on the projects are overwhelmingly positive. While there is some indication that higher exposure correlates to more nuanced responses and greater levels of understanding, the results also convey that those with lower exposure also learned new things about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures from the projects. This indicates that the messaging from the projects is clear and effective and that further exposure to the projects will serve to enhance people’s understandings.

Baseline and endline attitudinal survey comparison

Eleven participants were able to be surveyed in both surveys. This provides us with a direct comparison in answers given by this group between the baseline survey and the
endline survey.

There are some limitations to comparing the baseline survey results with those of the endline survey. Primarily, the sample size is small, and it can be difficult to make claims that the projects impacted either positively or negatively on such a small group. Furthermore, some shifts in answers between the baseline and endline surveys might be partially explained by the tragic murder of a community member during the fieldwork period. The woman was known to more than half of the respondents, and it is supposed that this may have impacted on some respondents’ answers as they understandably may feel more pessimistic about the capacity to prevent VAW and to fully realise gender equality. Ideally, the evaluation would be ongoing and would attempt to track changes over time by following up with respondents at different intervals in the future to track attitudinal shifts and measure longer term impacts. Ultimately, the baseline and endline surveys were conducted six months apart in very difficult and complex circumstances. The contextual factors which may help explain these shifts are detailed further in the “Discussion” section.

Results

Eleven respondents (three men and eight women) participated in both the baseline and endline surveys, and as such, a direct comparison can be made to measure any shifts in their attitudes. Between the baseline and endline surveys, the level of exposure increased for five participants, while it remained unchanged for six. Given the small sample size, findings from this analysis are limited to this specific cohort only and great care must be taken when considering what this might mean for the larger cohort of program participants.

Overall, a positive change can be seen between the baseline and endline surveys indicating some possible early signs of program effectiveness. There were 61 instances (individual answers) which saw answers shift positively from the baseline to endline surveys, as opposed to 43 instances that saw a negative (backwards) shift, out of 418 possible instances. We were more likely to see a positive shift in women’s answers than men’s answers between the baseline and endline surveys, with three women and one man[15] having a greater number of positive shifts than other respondents (see Appendix H). Two out of the three male participants had the greatest number of negative shifts in answers between the baseline and endline surveys. There was no observable relationship between the proportion of positive shifts in participants’ responses over the course of the program and their level of exposure.

We saw the most positive shifts in the four open-ended questions on attitudes to gender roles, where participants had the opportunity to freely answer what types of things they thought that boys, men, girls and women could and couldn’t do because of their gender. Across the whole cohort, there were 25 instances (individual answers) where people displayed a positive shift in their attitudes on gender roles from baseline to endline survey, and only two instances (individual answers) where people displayed a negative shift in answer from baseline to endline survey. Two women shifted positively on all four questions, while six other participants shifted positively on two or three out of the four questions. This is unsurprising, as the messages from the GCBC project are heavily focused on breaking down gender stereotypes. This encouraging result demonstrates that messages from the GCBC project are having a positive impact on changing people’s understandings and possibly their attitudes as well.

We saw the most negative shifts in the five questions on violence and gender in Aboriginal cultures. Across the whole group there were 11 instances (individual answers) where people displayed a negative shift in their beliefs about violence and gender in Aboriginal cultures from baseline to endline survey, and only seven instances (individual answers) displayed a positive shift in answers. Interestingly, only one man answered with one negative shift in his answer on this theme. The remaining 10 instances where a negative shift was observed were all answers given by women. Two of the women made three negative shifts in their answers out of the five questions. This suggests there could be a gendered reason for these responses, though with a small sample it’s difficult to say definitively. Potentially, this could reflect personal circumstances and the fact that project participants live in an area with high rates of severe violence. This context may make respondents more pessimistic in their assessments.

Interestingly, the two men who displayed the most negative shifts in their answers did so on questions on the theme of justifying violence. Despite both men having high exposure to the projects, they may have responded this way due to the ongoing violence and trauma in their communities and, perhaps, the “normalisation” of violence. Evidence suggests that greater exposure to prevention messaging increases impact (Marcus & Page, 2014) and as such, it will likely take more intensive messaging over a sustained period of time to change people’s ideas on the justification of violence.

While the cohort for direct comparison between baseline and endline surveys is small, there are encouraging findings here, especially given the short period of time. Generally, the results suggest there are positive shifts in understanding and attitudes because of the projects and respondents spoke extremely positively about the impacts on themselves and their communities. One woman said: “I feel communities are changing.” One man commented: “Yeah [the projects] changed my life. About culture and violence and importance of community.” It is highly recommended the projects continue to give people and communities further opportunities to participate and learn, and thereby to expand on these promising results. Furthermore, there is a need for future studies and evaluation to examine how negative shifts in attitudes can be mitigated and addressed programmatically.

Key informant interviews with SRFV staff

The baseline and endline interviews show the impact of the project partnership on the SRFV staff and workforce capacity development. The interviews also reveal some of the key challenges SRFV staff confront in their work, their ongoing training needs, and what is needed to develop a primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory.

In the discussion of the findings, comparison between the baseline and endline interviews will be made to illustrate what staff have gained through their work in the projects and what gaps remain.

Demographics of the sample

Between October and November 2020, eight baseline key informant interviews (KIIs) were conducted with 14 SRFV project staff. These baseline KIIs were then followed up with eight endline interviews conducted with 11 SRFV staff between May and June 2021. Some staff members preferred to participate in the interviews with their colleagues, and so some KIIs were conducted as group interviews. Thirteen of the interviews were one-on-one, while three were group interviews, each with four participants. Twenty staff in total participated in the interviews; an overview of their demographic information is presented in Table 7.

Table 7: Demographic data for baseline and endline key informants

Baseline interview (N=14)

Endline interview (N=11)

Gender

10 women; 3 men; 1 non-binary person

7 women; 3 men; 1 non-binary person

Ethnicity

3 Aboriginal people

10 non-Indigenous, white people

1 other First Nations

2 Aboriginal people

8 non-Indigenous, white people

1 Non-Indigenous person, other ethnic minority

Means of participation

4 LCFC; 1 italk; 1 student; 8 Tangentyere

4 LCFC; 1 italk; 2 students; 1 independent consultant; 2 Tangentyere

Most participants in the interviews were non-Indigenous women, which reflects the general make-up of staff in social services in Alice Springs. The key informants work for various programs across the three organisations: Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation (including some students who were on placement with TWFSG), LCFC, and italk Studio. One participant had previously worked on the MCDC project, but no participants had yet worked on the GCBC or OWS projects as they were new projects. All staff interviewed in the endline interviews had worked on one or both of these projects.

Five of the key informants completed both baseline and endline interviews, while nine undertook only baseline interviews and six undertook only endline interviews. The nature of the endline interview questions prompted all interview participants to reflect on what they had learned or gained through working on the projects.

Findings

A thematic analysis was conducted for the 16 interview transcripts. The analysis of the baseline interviews was conducted in November 2020, and the analysis of the endline interviews was conducted in June 2021. Eight key themes were identified in the analysis of the baseline and endline interviews: challenges faced by staff; primary prevention; responses to DFSV; workforce development; what is needed to prevent DFSV; what is needed to support staff and workforce; what staff gained or learned from the projects; and violence and Aboriginal cultures (see Table 8 for definitions).

Table 8: Definitions of key themes from the baseline and endline key informant interviews

Key theme

Definitions

Challenges faced by staff

Difficulties SRFV project staff confront in their work, in delivering the projects, and within the broader community

Primary prevention

SRFV project staff members’ prior knowledge and experience working in primary prevention, and contextually specific primary prevention

Response to DFSV

Focus on crisis responses to DFSV in the Northern Territory rather than on prevention work

Workforce development

Training needs of the Northern Territory workforce

What is needed to prevent DFSV

Principles and strategies to prevent DFSV in the Northern Territory

What is needed to support staff and workforce

Support, resources and skills staff see as necessary to further developing the primary prevention workforce and supporting the DFSV sector

What staff gained or learned from the projects

The knowledge and/or skills staff gained through working on the projects

Perceptions of violence and Aboriginal cultures

Staff members’ understanding and the challenge presented by the enduring attitude that VAW is permissible in Aboriginal cultures

Challenges faced by staff

SRFV project staff identified a number of challenges they confront in their work in delivering the projects and within the broader community. In delivering the projects, a key challenge included unreliable funding streams, which impacts upon project sustainability and longevity:

I think government need … more accountability [for] making these [DFSV sector and primary prevention] roles sustainable and supported. So [primary prevention] needs … a whole team of support services, and then how that team can be supported. It needs to come from government through funding and through sustainable models that are longer than a year. (BS01 baseline)[16]

Staff reflected that creating change happens over the long term, and government funding must match this kind of commitment:

My understanding of how primary prevention works … it’s those messages being saturated in all areas. To change that behaviour, it needs to be a societal change. And [governments are not] recognising that [preventing violence] is important at this stage. I think governments are not investing the money that they need to. And it’s not something that the Tangentyere Family Violence Prevention Program can do on their own with one little project either. So we’re doing what we can do. (TB85 baseline)

Another challenge was the lack of coordination between services and lack of shared understanding of DFSV and its drivers, which impacted SFRV project staff members’ work as clients received competing messages from different service providers and/or experienced hampered avenues for joint case management:

I think most [services] in this town are siloed. I think the funding models actually encourage that way of working and we’re all working for the same families … then it becomes a bit of a competition where you’re seeing [the families] as your clients, so you couldn’t possibly talk to [another service]. Because that could mean that [the families] could then go to [another] program. And that’s been seen as a negative thing, because you’re all in competition or something. So that’s when it becomes really unhelpful for the families. (BS01 baseline)

Due to the high rates of DFSV in the community, DFSV came to impact upon all job roles (including those seemingly unrelated to the DFSV sector, such as teaching), yet staff had no training in identifying or responding to DFSV. The prevalence of DFSV in the community meant that SRFV project staff were often also personally affected by DFSV, as they were often called upon to support their friends, colleagues and other community members experiencing violence despite having no or little training.

SRFV project staff also identified community attitudes and beliefs about gender, as well as the denial that DFSV was a problem in the community, as key challenges in their work. Another problematic attitude that staff confronted in their work was the idea that violence is condoned by “Aboriginal culture”:[17]

I grew up in Alice Springs. And [my experience was that] violence in Aboriginal culture was very much talked about as just a generalised normalised thing between [Aboriginal people]. (EPI01 baseline)

I was aware of statistics [about the] disproportionate rate [of DFSV] within Aboriginal communities, and that that could often be attributed to [Aboriginal] culture by the media or by people in the community, but I would dispute that … In my work prior to … this program, [the attitude] had come up [and] young [Aboriginal] people might say things like “that’s our way” or things like that and I have talked with colleagues about how we address that because it’s difficult. (GR01 baseline)

While SRFV project staff were adamant that violence is not a part of Aboriginal cultures, many of their clients held this belief. This was a key challenge, as clients would often condone, justify or minimise their own or others’ use of violence as being permissible in Aboriginal cultures.

Primary prevention

Another key theme identified by SRFV project staff was primary prevention. This is unsurprising given that the evaluation is focused on two primary prevention projects, however the KIIs provided insight into SRFV project staff members’ prior knowledge of and experience working in primary prevention before working on GCBC and/or OWS, as well as the ongoing need for contextually specific primary prevention.

With one exception, all SRFV project staff said that prior to working on the partnership projects they had no knowledge of or experience working in primary prevention. The only staff member with prior experience reflected that her first exposure to the idea of primary prevention was in writing the grant application for MCDC, while other participants said they had never heard the term (“primary prevention”) prior to engaging in the partnership projects. SRFV project staff also had little to no awareness of the primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory; most participants could not identify another primary prevention project working in Central Australia. SRFV project staff also could not identify any external support for primary prevention and were unsure whether there was a dedicated government department. These findings demonstrate that there is little coordination between projects (outside of the partnership projects), and there is little external support for SRFV project staff.

SRFV project staff reflected that the MCDC project was extremely important because it developed primary prevention resources that work in the Central Australian context:

Girls Can Boys Can [will] be similar to Mums Can Dads Can [which helped me to have discussions with men in the MBCP because] rather than me projecting my own ideas and [how I] define gender equality, [the GCBC/MCDC messages are] coming from the bottom up and that’s actually what’s going to work for us … It’s the most effective tool we’ve got to keep people safe, and if these are [the community’s] words and their ways of thinking about things [it resonates more]. (MP01 baseline)

SRFV project staff said that primary prevention resources created elsewhere in Australia had little relevance and/or application in Central Australia, whereas the MCDC resources resonated with and were understood by local communities.

Response to domestic, family and sexual violence

SRFV project staff reported that the Northern Territory government and DFSV sector were almost entirely focused on response to the exclusion of prevention work. SRFV project staff also said that most services – even those that are not DFSV-specific services – end up doing crisis work with their clients. For example, one key informant reflected on her role as an early years educator in remote communities and in Alice Springs:

My time working [in Central Australia], a lot of work seems like putting out fires and addressing things quite in the moment and when they’re happening. And then not understanding necessarily or even knowing about primary prevention and the importance of that in the [education] space … that’s generally how the roles transpire is that you do end up in a crisis response mode, rather than being given the tools to [actually do] that work. (BS01 baseline)

SRFV project staff reported that this meant that services were always at crisis point, and some impacts identified by SRFV project staff included low staff retention with high rates of burnout and compassion fatigue, as well as a DFSV sector stretched thin as a result of poor resourcing. SRFV project staff felt strongly that more attention and resourcing should be focused on prevention work. They explained that, while response work is important, necessary and lifesaving, prevention is needed to alleviate the strain at the response end of the sector. SRFV project staff also reported that many of the responses to DFSV in the Northern Territory (such as incarceration and police response) were not effective and not appropriate for the context. One participant gave the analogy of a cliff. She said that people kept falling off the cliff, and our response is to park an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff to scoop them up and drive them to hospital. The more people who fall off, the more ambulances we try to park at the bottom of the cliff – but they cannot possibly keep up: “There seems to always be a lot of focus on what I would call the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.” (CC01 baseline) Instead, we should erect a fence at the top of the cliff and educate people about the dangers of walking along the cliff face.

SRFV project staff reported that it was important to address DFSV in a holistic way that addresses the risk factors for violence and is educational and community driven. They also reflected on the importance of addressing intersecting issues such as housing and healthcare if DFSV is to be prevented in the Northern Territory.

Workforce development

SRFV project staff also reported the need for DFSV workforce development in the Northern Territory, with adequate resourcing to reflect that DFSV accounts for the bulk of the work of the Territory’s services and police and judicial systems. SRFV project staff said that they gained their current level of knowledge through their own personal experience and self-driven research rather than any formal training. SRFV project staff often explained that university degrees (if they had them) did not prepare them for the realities of DFSV in the Northern Territory, and that they received no external training prior to entering the DFSV workforce in the Northern Territory. SRFV project staff who worked for non-specialist DFSV organisations said they learned “on the job” as DFSV came to affect their job roles. This often prompted SRFV project staff to do their own research, but they highlighted the importance of training for the workforce, including those in non-specialist services and agencies such as schools. Take, for example, this extract from a baseline interview with an early years educator:

[Researcher:] Where do you think you’ve gained that knowledge or experience? How did you come to it?

[BS01:] I guess through work and life experience. And seeing [DFSV] as it happened or as [DFSV] happened to two colleagues, and then how you could either deal with that, or how you actually couldn’t, especially like in a remote community … I’ve never been given that handbook where I’ve worked to say, “Here’s the people in your community, and here are the services. And here are the connections” … It’s always been something you’ve had to work out yourself through making your own connections and community. Or working it out when [DFVS] has happened – when you’ve got somebody who needs help in the here and now. And yet, there’s no roadmap as to how to support someone through [DFSV].

[Researcher:] So you never given any kind of formal training or anything like that?

[BS01:] No, I had to wait two years when I got to the [Northern] Territory to have any cultural awareness training. (BS01 baseline)

Key training areas identified by SRFV project staff include the production and application of primary prevention resources (what makes messaging effective, for example); the need for more explicit training on gender and violence (how to identify DFSV and respond); more training on trauma and its effects on individuals and communities; and further training on the legal and system responses to DFSV (details about the different types of domestic violence orders, for example).

What is needed to prevent DFSV

In the endline interviews, staff were asked to reflect on what challenges remain for the DFSV sector in the Northern Territory and how these challenges could be overcome. This prompted staff to reflect on what was needed to prevent DFSV in the Northern Territory.

The key informants’ most frequently referenced need to effectively prevent DFSV was recognition. Currently staff felt that the general public as well as the various levels of government did not recognise DFSV as a problem – or thought that it was not their problem. This led to complacency in identifying and responding to DFSV, and a lack of urgency around prevention. Staff also felt that there was a lack of ownership and willingness to take responsibility to tackle the problem of DFSV, which meant that the sector was under-resourced and under-supported and that there was too little work being done in the area of primary prevention. When asked if they could name any other people or organisations working in primary prevention, staff were still largely unable to identify anyone other than themselves. The staff member who in the baseline interview had believed that there might be a primary prevention workforce, though they themselves were unaware of it, said: “I’m imagining that there’s a marketing machine somewhere that’s pumping out posters and ads on telly about like ‘Hey stop domestic violence’” (CC01 baseline).

During their endline interview they noted, “I actually am still not aware of any other significant pieces of work, or organisations” and when asked whether the workers feel supported, said, “It’s abysmal” (CC01 endline).

When asked about the primary prevention sector, the longest serving member of staff interviewed, who had developed the original MCDC project, reported:

I don’t think there is a cohesive workforce for primary prevention. I think even when we’re talking about family violence or violence against women, different services are just so crisis-driven, that there isn’t time for them to be working on primary prevention. For a cultural shift to actually change what’s happening and for a workforce to feel supported … it needs to be coming from the government, but the government needs to be pushed maybe to see this as an issue that they take seriously and that they support financially. (TB85 endline)

All key informants believed that in order to prevent DFSV, DFSV had to be recognised as a problem for the whole of society. Further, they believed that the expertise within the sector needed to be recognised and listened to. This was reinforced by staff members’ belief that in order to prevent DFSV, deep listening is needed.

Many staff also believe that government and all other interested stakeholders need to take the time to properly listen to the DFSV sector as well as Aboriginal communities. Staff were very clear that the knowledge of how to prevent DFSV was located within grassroots organisations and communities, and that these needed to be listened to:

Government [needs] to actually listen to community about what they identify as their needs … [and to listen] to the grassroots organisations and what they’re saying, rather than just coming in with punitive responses and reactive responses. If the government actually listened to people, instead of just running their own agenda, worrying about GDP, and like giving billionaires tax breaks and not funding domestic and family violence [work] … if enough energy was put towards like fixing domestic family violence, then we can do it. It could definitely be done. Like how much effort they put into people not smoking, wearing seatbelts or not speeding, because we know that it saves lives and it has an impact and yet there’s no attention being put on to [DFSV], because it would make men’s lives uncomfortable. (MRC12 endline)

The principle of deep listening is interwoven with the principle of being community-driven. Staff believed that the GCBC and OWS projects had cultural authority, legitimacy and appropriateness because they had been developed with the community. Community members from Alice Springs Town Camps and across the three partner organisations had contributed to the development of the projects’ messages and resources. All aspects of the projects were constructed and then repeatedly vetted with the community before being released. This approach created ownership and investment from community members who fully embraced the initiatives. In order to produce effective primary prevention campaigns and to ultimately prevent DFSV, staff believed a community development approach was vital and that members from the communities directly affected must be involved in the decision-making at every stage of the project.

Staff felt that there were many future opportunities for organisations to collaborate and work together on primary prevention initiatives; they were particularly excited by cross-sector engagement, and believed that DFSV primary prevention should be mainstreamed. Staff believed that the focus of GCBC on early years education, as well as the partnership between TFVPP and LCFC, had been particularly successful because of the expertise each organisation contributed. The partnership has met with representatives from the Northern Territory Department of Education and is developing a curriculum and educational toolkit to be used in primary schools. Following this model, staff felt that DFSV primary prevention initiatives could also be developed with the health sector. Staff also thought partnerships with media and communication agencies were key to disseminating accessible messaging in useful and creative ways. The coordination of services and multiagency collaboration was seen as necessary to create change – by making preventing DFSV a part of every sector’s core work – and as an opportunity for creative initiatives. The fact that staff still could not name other organisations or initiatives working in the primary prevention space suggests there is little to no coordination between services outside of the project partnership.

Staff identified the need for holistic responses that address risk factors that make violence more likely, such as poverty, disadvantage and housing. They also noted the importance of cultural safety and the need to engage men and boys in prevention initiatives. It is worth noting that the staff members’ identification of these principles is echoed in the literature (Brown, 2019a; Brown, 2020; Humphreys et al., 2000; Memmott et al., 2006).

What is needed to support staff and workforce

As there is no dedicated primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory, primary prevention work is carried out by others working in the DFSV sector. When asked what is needed to support the primary prevention workforce, staff therefore talked about a range of responses needed to support primary prevention initiatives as well as the entire DFSV sector.

The most often cited support required was funding. Staff said that current funding cycles were short (12 months for primary prevention projects) and mostly one-off. For example, Tangentyere was unsuccessful in its application to renew funding for the GCBC project under the SRFV primary prevention grants for 2021–2022. Despite the promising findings in this evaluation about the GCBC project, the project will be without funding after this funding cycle expires. This mirrors what most staff reported in both baseline and endline interviews: that a lot of staff time is spent looking for funding and grant opportunities, and applying for funding, and that what was needed was long-term funding and funding for dedicated primary prevention workers. The nature of primary prevention is that it is long term and directed at creating generational change, so staff believed that it must be supported by adequate funding streams. Currently, staff reported that a lot of work was carried out without funding and carried out by workers in addition to their usual work and caseload. Staff linked this to the problem of burnout and vicarious trauma among workers, and presented this as an unsustainable and untenable situation for workers. Staff talked about the need for commitment – from all levels of government – to support this work to be carried out and to see it through.

The funding cycles never seem to allow for [change] to happen … there needs to be a commitment … it’s about social change, like it’s quite big hefty thing and that takes time and resources. (CC05 endline)

This needs to sit in a much more holistic plan for families in the town … If the government could recognise that whole plan and fund for 10 years, we might actually get somewhere. (CC01 endline)

[To support the DFSV staff and workforce] there needs to be an investment from government, that [DFSV] is seen as a problem for everyone, that there is a [primary prevention] workforce. Yeah, that there’s investments made in that and that it’s recognized that [change] is a long-term process – an intergenerational process. (TB85 endline)

Staff also reported the need for more training for the workforce. Prior to the GCBC and OWS projects, only one worker had ever worked in primary prevention before (this was on the MCDC project), and most staff had never heard the term “primary prevention” and/or had no understanding of primary prevention prior to working on these projects. Furthermore, staff reported that they had no understanding of the causes and drivers of DFSV prior to working on these projects. Staff, particularly non-DSFV-specialist staff, also reported feeling unsure and unconfident in identifying and responding to DFSV, even though their work was affected so much by DFSV. Staff identified extensive training needs within the sector as well as in other agencies that support the sector, such as police and legal services. Enduring harmful attitudes within police, the healthcare system and the criminal justice system were cited as a key challenge to workers in the DFSV sector – and they reported that these were best challenged and addressed through comprehensive and ongoing training.

Sometimes the police respond to things in ways that put people who experienced violence at risk. Like someone doesn’t want us to [visit them at home]. And we asked the police to not visit the house, because [that will] put her at risk, and the police visit the house anyways. And that really compromises our ability to do primary prevention because we’re already doing crisis work … The person who caused the harm [then] becomes worse [in prison, which does not] hold them accountable or support them to be a better person or to prevent the violence from happening again. And given the recidivism rates and given the evidence we have around what happens to [victims and survivors] when [perpetrators] come out of prison. There’s actually no supports. There’s already a lack of support for a woman – period – after the first incident [of violence]. But then there’s no accountability to keep that woman or family or children safe after knowing that [the criminal justice and response] systems usually tend to increase [violence], there’s no acknowledgement or further support, and no alternatives other than the criminal justice system. And so, yeah, people are very unsafe. (GR04 baseline)

Staff particularly identified the need for cultural awareness training, training on how to identify and respond to DFSV, and specialist training on how to develop and communicate effective primary prevention messaging.

Finally, staff believed increased awareness within the community and within government about the causes and drivers of DFSV would be of huge support to the DFSV sector. Staff reported constantly having to communicate and upskill government agencies and workers so that they could work with them more effectively. This affected time and resourcing for these staff members. Similarly, enduring community attitudes that DFSV is not a problem – or is only a problem in Aboriginal communities – were an impediment to their work. This was linked to the issue of recognition raised by staff about what was needed to prevent violence, and staff felt the workforce could be supported by awareness-raising campaigns, within both government and the community. Primary prevention campaigns can of course be a part of this, but workers need to be adequately resourced to carry out this work.

What staff gained or learned from the projects

Staff reported learning and gaining a lot from working on the GCBC and OWS projects, particularly within three areas: knowledge of the causes and drivers of DFSV; increased skills in research, communication and group facilitation; and personal growth and reflection.

Prior to working in the two projects, most staff had low levels of knowledge about DFSV and its key drivers. Staff who worked in the DFSV sector had a good level of understanding about the different forms of VAW and how to respond, but few had an in-depth knowledge of the underlying drivers of VAW, particularly the drivers of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Most staff also had little understanding of the terminology and/or primary prevention. In the endline interviews, all staff were able to define primary prevention and all staff were able to discuss the key drivers of VAW. Staff gained this knowledge through participating in and leading various training sessions and workshops for community members and early years educators. Because of this increased knowledge, staff reported feeling more confident to have conversations about gender, gender equality and challenging attitudes which condone VAW after being part of these projects.

Staff also reported that they had increased their skills through working on the projects. Staff commonly reported that they had improved their skills in group facilitation which they believed would support their work in future community development initiatives and their everyday work as social workers and educators, and in responding to DFSV.

I’ve never done [primary prevention work] before so it was quite [like] learning the basics and watching how these projects evolve from the ground up. And how nonviolent messages are developed [with] groups … and how we facilitated those discussions. That was a huge part for me, was learning about [how to facilitate] those workshops and watching [another SRFV staff member] do it, and then helping and doing a bit of [facilitation] myself. And drawing out [the knowledge] from the group and hearing the values of the group and also, debunking lots of different myths and [harmful] attitudes that aren’t helpful. (LG53 endline)

Staff also reported having learned a lot about research and how to conduct research from having been trained as co-researchers and participating in data collection in the baseline and endline attitudinal surveys. Staff felt they had learned skills in data collection, but also had learned from the findings from the interim report:[18]

I’ve gotten a lot better … [and I am] more conscious of [my facial expressions] and being nonjudgmental about people’s answers to make sure that they feel like they can be honest, which I think it’s just a really good tool when you’re working with people. So that [came from] the surveys, [and] when we first did the pre-survey training stuff. (CC03 endline)

It showed me the importance of research. I think for a lot of social work students or for me, research is something that we shy away from or that we find a bit too hard or too abstract and struggled to understand how it fits in with our social work practice or our direct practice. But it really showed me how important research is, and how it does inform your direct practice. Because we need research in order to have evidence-based practice and frameworks, and we need to research in order to justify what we do in order to be able to keep doing it. And in order to get funding and publicity and awareness. Yeah, so for me, I really, it was so great to be able to be part of a research project. (CT33 endline)

Staff also reported that their communication skills had improved, as they had considered and worked hard to communicate difficult concepts in accessible language using a range of media. For example, through the baseline attitudinal survey, staff identified the need to more clearly articulate the link between gender inequality and DFSV, so they produced a GCBC postcard that explains the causes and drivers of DFSV (see Figure 8). They distributed these postcards at market stalls and training sessions.

Figure 8: GCBC postcard

GCBC postcard. The text in this image is in the caption below.

Text in image: Girls Can Boys Can. The Girls Can Boys Can Project shows equal and respectful relationships between girls and boys, so that kids can thrive and grow up to be whoever they want to be free from discrimination. Women are more likely to experience domestic, family, and sexual violence in their lifetime than men. Violence against women occurs in society and relationships where women and men ARE NOT EQUAL, When women also experience racism, this increases their risk of experiencing violence. Violence against women is preventable. To stop violence before it begins, children need to see and hear equal and respectful relationship between girls and boys and women and men. The Girls Can Boys Can Project is working with parents, carers and educators of kids to create messages for books, clothing, posters and toys that show the healthy, fun, equal and respectful relationships between girls and boys, along with the strengths of Aboriginal children, families and communities.

Finally, staff also reported that the projects had prompted them to reflect on their own use of language, relationships and attitudes. Male staff members, in particular, reported that they had reflected on their relationships and the gender roles within their own households. Male staff members reported having discussions with their partners and family members about how to have more gender-equitable roles in the household and how to parent more equitably.

In those [workshop] discussions [I started] thinking about my own attitudes, as well. And I think [about] my personal relationship with my wife and things like that. I probably have a more gender-equal view. (LG53 endline)

[The projects] reminded me that yeah boys and girls or male and female can do whatever they want … And it pushed me to maybe to behave [differently and more freely. For example], as a man, to wear random colours that normally men wouldn’t or shouldn’t, I wouldn’t limit myself. (BD23 endline)

Moreover, many staff members reported reflecting on their own language, particularly in the way they spoke to children – whether it was children in their families or in their classrooms.

[The projects gave me] a really heightened awareness of how pervasive the rigid gender stereotypes are in our world … I hear it, I see it. I’m challenging myself on a daily basis with the language that I’m using, the thoughts that I’m thinking, the reactions I’m having. (CC01 endline)

Staff were more conscious of the language they used and reported striving to be more inclusive and gender equitable in their professional and personal lives. Staff also said it had given them the confidence to have other conversations and improve their practice in anti-racism and LGBTQ+ and intersex rights and celebrations.

Perceptions of violence and Aboriginal cultures

The findings from the endline interviews echoed those of the baseline interviews, in that staff reported that the attitude and belief that VAW was acceptable in Aboriginal cultures was a key challenge in their work. This is a key sticking point for these projects, and for primary prevention work in the Northern Territory. It is important to note that violence within Aboriginal cultures is a result of colonisation, and violence is not an inherent part of traditional Aboriginal cultures or lore. The findings in this section reflect that any violence in Aboriginal communities is a product of the normalisation of violence – an impact of ongoing colonisation. The harmful attitude that violence is inherent to Aboriginal cultures is a key challenge faced by staff.

In Changing the Picture, Our Watch lists common misconceptions about violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. One is that violence is a part of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures (Our Watch, 2018). These attitudes and beliefs stem from the impacts of colonisation, which is a key driver of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (Our Watch, 2018). In the endline survey, staff reported that this attitude was pervasive among their clients and within the DFSV sector, police and healthcare system, as well as throughout the community and general public. The baseline and endline attitudinal surveys, as well as the social media and animation surveys, all found that there was widespread disagreement about whether VAW was permissible in Aboriginal cultures. The various surveys also found widespread disagreement about whether men are superior to women in Aboriginal cultures. Many people are adamant that VAW is not permissible in Aboriginal cultures and that women and men have separate yet equal and complementary roles – yet many others believe the opposite.

Some staff said they were heartened by collecting the baseline and endline attitudinal survey data when they heard young Aboriginal women very adamantly say that VAW was unacceptable and that women and men were equal in Aboriginal cultures; however, many others reported different views. Staff found this attitude and belief especially difficult to challenge when it came from senior Aboriginal men.

In the baseline interviews, several staff were confused and felt unsure about whether violence was acceptable in Aboriginal cultures in Central Australia. However, in the endline interviews, these staff were adamant that violence was not a part of traditional Aboriginal cultures.

[I learned that VAW is] not an inherent part of Indigenous culture at all or that it’s [traditionally] not used to control women … The [Aboriginal] men and women that I talked with when they were talking about cultural values never said [violence is acceptable] … There is violence in community now, but … it’s due to intergenerational trauma and all kinds of [drivers]. (SHD01 endline)

Other staff reflected on the evolution of culture. Although violence is not a part of traditional Aboriginal cultures, staff recognised that because of the normalisation of violence it had become a part of wider culture in a society that condones VAW. These staff members, themselves Aboriginal, reflected on how the impacts of colonisation – the stolen generation, the incarceration and forced removal of Indigenous people, and colonial violence – had created a contemporary culture in which violence against Aboriginal women had been normalised.

I think [the discomfort we feel when having a discussion about violence being a part of culture is the] same as nobody thinking that they’re racist, that whilst everybody says that violence isn’t part of Aboriginal culture, culture is always evolving. And whilst you might say, six generations ago, when my family lived on the land they didn’t hit each other, but if you’re a victim of domestic or family or gender-based violence and so were your parents, and so were their parents and so were their parents before them, like that comes from somewhere. There is all the research about colonisation and that affecting people. Obviously, that’s had an impact. But if it is an intrinsic part of your life, and all of your family’s life, then maybe that is part of your culture. Without you really knowing, [violence is a part of] the culture of your society … But nobody is really willing to put that into words because it feels wrong. (CC03 endline)

Yeah, I think violence is like a, it’s a tool. [When] families, you know, are hurting, people are hurting, people are growing up in rough cycles, you know, that they grow up with [violence]. Like I had a story from my partner’s grandma once said, “If your partner doesn’t beat you up … he doesn’t love [you]” … So if it’s generation to generation, then that becomes a part of your culture. (CC02 endline)

Although the OWS animations sought to explicitly target the attitude that violence is a part of traditional Aboriginal cultures, this attitude and belief remains a significant concern for staff and a challenge to their work. The widely held belief that men are superior to women in Aboriginal cultures and that VAW is acceptable in Aboriginal cultures is a driver of DFSV in the Northern Territory (Brown, 2020). It means that the non-Indigenous population is dismissive of violence against Aboriginal women and reluctant to report it – believing that it is “just a part of their culture” – and it means that there is a lack of responsiveness to violence against non-Indigenous women as violence is regarded as “only an Aboriginal problem” (Brown, 2020). Staff find it difficult to challenge this attitude and belief, and it has enduring consequences for their work.

All staff who took part in the KIIs know that VAW is unacceptable, and that women and men are considered equal with equal roles in traditional Aboriginal cultures – and their involvement in the projects increased their knowledge in this area, particularly through the development of the OWS animations. However, the attitude and belief remain widespread and many staff lack the confidence to challenge this view, particularly when it is held by Aboriginal people.

Social media survey

The social media survey shows the reach and engagement of the TWFSG and TFVPP social media platforms, and shows that the resources developed by the GCBC project successfully communicated their gender-equitable and anti-racist messages to social media users. This section begins by providing a breakdown of the demographics of the sample, then presents the key findings and conclusions.

Demographics of the sample

One hundred and twelve people accessed the social media survey. After partial responses had been deleted, there were 110 responses remaining and Table 9 presents the demographic details of the sample.

Table 9: Demographic data for social media survey

Social media survey (N=110)

Gender

95 women; 12 men; 3 gender diverse people a

Age

4 aged 16–25; 38 aged 26–35; 33 aged 36–45; 23 aged 46–55; 7 aged 56–65; 5 aged 66–75

Ethnicity

  • 73 non-Indigenous white Australians
  • 18 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people b
  • 3 non-Indigenous, other ethnic minority in Australia
  • 3 other First Nations from outside Australia
  • 2 mixed heritage c
  • 8 “other”
  • 3 prefer not to say

State or territory of residence

  • 61 Northern Territory
  • 15 Victoria
  • 11 South Australia
  • 4 Western Australia
  • 4 Queensland
  • 1 Tasmania
  • 1 Australian Capital Territory
  • 1 Fiji
  • 1 prefer not to say

Intersecting identities

4 respondents had a disability; 13 were single parents or carers; 20 identified as LGBTQ+ or intersex

Highest level of western education

1 completed primary school; 7 started secondary but did not complete; 20 completed secondary school; 11 started an undergraduate degree but did not complete; 30 have an undergraduate degree; 38 have a postgraduate degree; 2 “other”; 1 prefer not to say

Platform used to access the survey

88 TWFSG Facebook page; 8 TFVPP Instagram profile; 2 TMFSG Facebook page; 1 EQI Facebook page; 1 EQI Instagram profile; 10 “other”

a One person identified as female non-binary, another identified as non-binary transgender and a third as non-binary. For the purposes of the social media survey analysis, this cohort has been grouped together and called “gender diverse people”.
b Sixteen respondents identified as Aboriginal and two respondents identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. As two respondents identified as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and no respondents identified only as Torres Strait Islander, for the purposes of the social media survey analysis, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents will be grouped together.
c One respondent identified as being both non-Indigenous white and non-Indigenous ethnic minority, and another identified as other First Nations and non-Indigenous ethnic minority. These respondents have been grouped together as “mixed heritage”.

The objective of the social media survey was to gather responses from a diverse group of people to see whether project resources resonated with or were understood among different cohorts. It was also to see the reach of the TWFSG and TFVPP social media platforms – given that the target sample size was exceeded within three days, this suggests TFVPP and TWFSG have an extensive and engaged social media following. This is of import to the GCBC project, in particular, as TWFSG disseminates much of this messaging using its social media platforms.

Results

Pre-exposure attitudes and beliefs

Table 10: Results from the social media survey about attitudes and beliefs

QUESTIONS

RESPONSES a

Strongly agree
%
(#)

Agree
%
(#)

Neither agree or disagree
%
(#)

Disagree
%
(#)

Strongly disagree
%
(#)

I don’t know
%
(#)

Prefer not to say
%
(#)

TOTAL
%
(#)

Men and women are equally valued in society

9

(10)

4

(4)

5

(5)

52

(58)

29

(32)

1

(1)

0

(0)

100

110

Men and women should have different roles, in the family and in society

1

(1)

6

(7)

8

(9)

39

(43)

45

(49)

1

(1)

0

(0)

100

110

It is always unacceptable for men to use violence against women

88

(97)

5

(5)

1

(1)

1

(1)

5

(6)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

110

Men are considered to be superior to women in Aboriginal cultures

4

(5)

23

(25)

15

(16)

27

(30)

13

(14)

17

(19)

1

(1)

100

110

It is acceptable to use violence in Aboriginal cultures

1

(1)

8

(9)

6

(6)

16

(18)

56

(62)

11

(12)

2

(2)

100

110

Violence against women is permissible in Aboriginal cultures

1

(1)

9

(10)

5

(5)

28

(31)

50

(55)

6

(7)

1

(1)

100

110

a The boxes shaded in orange in Table 10 highlight the highest percentage (the most frequent response to that question).
Pale orange shows the next highest percentage. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Attitudes towards gender and violence against women

The respondents to the social media survey expressed highly gender-equitable views: they were unlikely to believe that women and men should occupy different roles (with 84% of respondents answering “disagree” or “strongly disagree”), and they were unlikely to condone violence against women (with 93% agreeing or strongly agreeing that it is always unacceptable for men to use violence against women).

Although the respondents had highly gender-equitable views, they perceived society as valuing women and men differently. Eighty-two per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed that women and men are equally valued in society – this is likely a reflection of how respondents perceive society rather than their own personal views of what society should be like. Women respondents (85%) were more likely than men (58%) or gender diverse respondents (66%) to disagree or strongly disagree with this statement. Men were more likely to say they did not know in response to this statement (18%). However, these results should be read with caution as the sample size of male and gender diverse respondents is small (12 and three respectively). Women and men were just as likely to disagree or strongly disagree with the statement that men and women should have different roles (85% and 83% respectively), while the gender diverse respondents were split evenly between agreeing, neither agreeing nor disagreeing, and disagreeing. Women, men and gender diverse respondents were equally likely to agree or strongly agree that it is always unacceptable for men to use violence against women (93%, 92% and 100% respectively).

Attitudes towards gender and violence in Aboriginal cultures

Respondents were markedly divided in their responses to “men are considered superior to women in Aboriginal cultures” (see Figure 9). This possibly reflects the tension, found in the baseline and endline attitudinal surveys, that although people do not believe Aboriginal cultures condone violence against women, many people hold the misconception that Aboriginal cultures value men above women. This disparity was still present when responses were disaggregated based on respondents’ Indigeneity.

Figure 9: Responses to the statement “In Aboriginal cultures, men are considered superior to women” disaggregated
by Indigeneity”

The information in this graph is in the table below

Responses

Non-Indigenous white respondents

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents

Preferred not to say

1% N/A

Did not know

25% N/A

Disagree or strongly disagree

37% 39%

Neither agree or disagree

12% 22%

Agree or strongly agree

25% 39%

However, once more the sample size of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was small (n=18), so these results should be interpreted with caution.

There was more agreement between respondents in response to the statement “It is acceptable to use violence in Aboriginal cultures”, with 72 per cent of respondents disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with this statement. This result was consistent across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents and non-Indigenous white respondents (72% and 73% respectively). However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents were also more likely to agree or strongly agree with this statement (22%) than non-Indigenous white respondents (5%), who were more likely to say they did not know (12%).

There was also agreement between respondents in response to the statement “Violence against women is permissible in Aboriginal cultures”, with 86 per cent disagreeing or strongly disagreeing. These results vary when disaggregating by Indigeneity, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents more likely to agree with this statement (see Figure 10).

Figure 10: Responses to the statement “Violence against women is permissible in Aboriginal cultures” disaggregated
by Indigeneity

The information in this graph is in the table below

Responses

Non-Indigenous white respondents

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents

Preferred not to say

1% N/A

Did not know

5% N/A

Disagree or strongly disagree

85% 67%

Neither agree or disagree

5% 6%

Agree or strongly agree

4% 28%

These findings are similar to the findings of the endline survey, in which 77 per cent of participants answered that it was not okay for men to use violence against women in Aboriginal cultures, while 8 per cent said that it was okay, 4 per cent said it was sometimes okay, and 12 per cent answered that they did not know. It is clear that most respondents believe that Aboriginal cultures do not condone violence or VAW specifically. There is less agreement among survey respondents about gender equality within Aboriginal cultures.

The resources

Of the 110 respondents, 98 said that they had never seen the GCBC materials until undertaking the survey, two said they were unsure, and 10 said they had seen them before. These 10 respondents said they had seen the resources at LCFC, on social media and/or at the TFVPP offices. Prior to the social media survey being distributed, these resources had not been released, however some earlier versions had been on display at LCFC and some respondents who had been involved in the project in some way may have seen the resources. It is also possible that respondents have confused these resources with others made by GCBC or even MCDC. However, it is unlikely that seeing these resources previously would have altered these 10 respondents’ answers significantly. Moreover, given the highly gender-equitable views of the cohort, previous exposure to the project by these 10 respondents will not change the findings significantly.

Respondents were asked to describe their understanding of the resources and to qualify their views. These questions were qualitative, so the responses were analysed and grouped thematically so that the key themes in the responses for each question could be identified.

General audience perceptions of the resources

There were three key themes identified in the 110 responses to this question: equality (girls and boys are equal), freedom of choice (kids should be free to choose), and gender (kids should not be constrained by gender). Respondents were most likely to understand that the resources meant that girls and boys should not be constrained by gender expectations, with 43 answers coded as this theme. For example, one respondent answered:

… that both boys and girls can be whatever they want to be. There are no gender roles and behaviours, roles or feelings are open to whoever you are. And that allowing people to be who they are will support them grow and flourish.

Respondents also understood the gender-equitable messaging, with 36 responses coded as the equality theme. Respondents understood that the resources were saying that girls and boys can do anything and that they are equal to each other: “Boys and girls can do the same things and be equally as good as each other at the tasks.”

The third most common theme was freedom of choice, with 33 references. Respondents understood that the resources were saying that girls and boys should not be constrained by the expectations or roles assigned to their gender. For example, one respondent answered, “Kids can choose how to be/play/express themselves free from gender expectations.”

It is evident from the thematic analysis that the resources were successful in communicating their gender-equitable messages to this audience, however, it must be noted that these audience members already displayed gender-equitable views.

Respondents’ general perceptions of the resources were first grouped according to whether they reported that they liked or disliked the resources. The responses were then analysed and put into thematic groups. Most respondents reported that they liked the resources with the top four reasons in the 68 responses in this group being:

  • there was diverse representation in the images
  • the imagery was visually engaging
  • the messaging was simple and clear
  • the resources were useful for parents and teachers.

Several responses particularly highlighted how these resources are great for early childhood education – which is the intended target audience for the resources. For example:

Currently working in a preschool and it’s something that would be great to have in early childhood and school settings.

Interesting, good learning resources, for families. They would be great in early learning centres, playgroup etc. in remote locations around Australia, urban as well.

Several respondents highlighted that they liked how the resources represented Aboriginal children in an inclusive and strengths-based way.

I like that they reflect children from non-Eurocentric backgrounds. As a children and parent support coordinator, we need many more resources that are child- and family-friendly that reflect Indigenous Australian children.

Love them, very cute, lovely colours that are gender neutral. I really like the messages they are accessible, gentle messages of equality, strength based.

Strong message. Colourful images. Brown faces. Simple but clear images. I dislike nothing about them.

Nine responses disliked some aspects of the resources, and the two reasons were that the resources lacked boldness and that respondents did not like the representation of a gender binary in the resources. Interestingly, two respondents compared the GCBC resources to MCDC and said they preferred the MCDC resources as these impacted and resonated with them more – this is perhaps because MCDC was designed for adults, while GCBC is for children and adults.

I like them but not as much as the Mums Can Dads Can ones, they don’t seem quite as strong and powerful in the images somehow, sorry! The cartoony fairies stuff kinda clashes, seems a bit of a weaker message somehow.

Other responses did not like the gender representation in the resources, and felt that the two characters were too feminine, while others liked that the gender of the characters was ambiguous. Some expressed that children who do not identify with either gender should be represented, and the binary language should be avoided.

One thought that does come to mind – what about children they don’t identify with either gender?

Query if the children should appear more “gender neutral”? Currently both characters have what might be perceived as feminine features which may not convey the “boys can” part of the message if people don’t connect that the character is male …

One of the characters seems to be depicted as a girl whilst the other could be either a boy or a girl – I liked that the latter reinforces the message that being a kid is being a kid, regardless of gender.

It is interesting to note that the few responses that were categorised as disliking some aspects of the resources were not critical of the messaging or content of the resources, but were rather providing feedback on how they believed the resources could be made more impactful or inclusive.

Lessons learned by audience from the resources

Many of the respondents reported that they had not gained new learnings from the resources. Given the highly gender-equitable views of the cohort, this is unsurprising. However, many respondents reported that while they did not learn anything new, the resources reinforced and reaffirmed their gender-equitable attitudes and beliefs.

Reinforced importance of dismantling gender norms, but I didn’t learn anything new.

These are ideas and values I already supported but great to see them in a local format and from a local org.

Of those responses that did report learning something new, there were four key themes in the responses:

  • kids can choose to be themselves
  • the existence of TWFSG and/or the GCBC resources
  • Aboriginal cultures support gender equality
  • the importance of gender equality.

Many responses showed that respondents learned that children should be free from gender expectations and that children can choose to do all sorts of activities and express themselves regardless of their gender.

No matter what, girls and boys can do what they like and must be free from stereotypes.

Children shouldn’t be limited by their gender. Children should be given the safety to play and explore freely.

That we need to stop limiting children to activities that fit comfortably within gender stereotypes.

Several responses also highlighted that respondents learned about the existence of TWFSG, TFVPP and/or that these resources were being produced. It is evident through these responses that several respondents had little prior knowledge of Tangentyere, TWFSG or the projects (MCDC, GCBC or OWS). It may be that these people live outside of the Northern Territory and/or Central Australia, or that they simply had not come into contact with the work of TWFSG previously. This suggests that the GCBC campaign has connected TWFSG and/or TFVPP with new audience members.

I learnt about the new boys can, girls can campaign.

That there are people out there trying to break down these barriers and preconceived ideas of gender roles.

I learnt more about this organisation – what especially you do. Thank you.

Importantly, several responses showed that some respondents learned that gender equality is supported in Aboriginal cultures. Prior to being shown the resources, the statement “Men are considered to be superior to women in Aboriginal cultures” garnered the most diverse responses, with 27 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing with that statement. Moreover, this was not listed as being a key message of the resources – yet several respondents still identified this as their key learning. This indicates that these resources may be effective in challenging the misconception that men are superior to women and/or that violence against women is permissible in traditional Aboriginal cultures.

I found the “girls can, boys can learn on country” was interesting as I was unaware there were common beliefs about this learning being gender-specific.

That Indigenous cultures promote gender equality.

Finally, several responses also showed that respondents had learned that gender equality is important. Some answers demonstrated that respondents understood that gender inequality is a product of rigidly enforced and inequitable gender roles which children learn from a young age.

There is an issue with gendered inequality that begins with treating children differently and gendering their experiences. As a result this perpetuates the many issues associated with gender inequality.

Some responses appeared to show that respondents had learned that gender is a social construct and not a biological reality, while others saw the resources as advancing gender equality for women and girls. For example:

That gender is made up.

How important it is to treat women and girls equally.

That’s it [sic] okay to be a girl.

Audience perceptions of value of the resources

The social media survey respondents overwhelmingly believed that the GCBC resources are important. Of the 110 responses, 105 responded with “yes”. One said “I don’t know”, one refused to answer and three said “maybe”.

Respondents were then asked to explain their answers. The “maybe” responses were supportive of the resources but had suggestions about how they could be more useful. For example:

I think the programs and work that go with them are more important.

Not sure what the research says about the impact these resources have on gender equity. However, I do think all resources should be diverse and not just produced on the east coast for a white audience.

They can play a part.

The 103 written responses of those who answered “yes” were analysed thematically. The five themes in the “yes” responses were that the resources:

  • empower
  • challenge gender stereotypes
  • have strength-based images of Indigenous families
  • promote diversity
  • educate.

The most dominant explanation in the written response for why people felt like these resources were important were that they “challenge gender stereotypes” (32 references) and “educate” (29 references). These responses reflect the importance of diverse representation in resources that challenge gender stereotypes, and also show that some respondents were able to draw the link between the gender-equitable messaging of the resources and their DFSV primary prevention objectives.

We need more resources to break down gender stereotypes. And we need material that children can see individuality. Resources often are white, heterosexual and cisgender. We need more diversity in materials!

It empowers our kids to be what they want to be and they need to know that family and domestic violence is not a normal part of life it’s just a vicious cycle.

Because education is so very important in breaking down gender barriers and stereotypes to address the violence against women or the abuse of power in any situation where one party has power over another.

The next two most dominant themes were that the resources “empower” (17 references) and represent “diversity” (15 references). The least-referenced theme was “strengths-based images of Indigenous families” (10 references).

Help break the stereotypes – gender and race particularly. Plus as I’ve said before, representation. It’s sad how little images we see of first people’s [sic] in Australia.

Anangu[19] need every positive reinforcement that that can see – particularly in the media. Kids need role models that they often sadly lack – these resources have those messages somewhere for kids to see.

Our children need to be taught early that they are free from gender stereotypes, to prevent further inequality.

It is clear respondents understood that the resources were challenging gender stereotypes – and regarded them as important for doing so – but also that they understood the underpinning anti-racist messages of the resources, and valued them for their positive representations of Indigenous children and families.

Respondents were also asked if they believed that the resources they viewed helped to prevent violence, and were invited to respond with “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, “I don’t know” or “refuse to answer”. They were then asked to write in an explanation for their answer. Of the 110 responses, 72 reported that they believed these messages helped to prevent violence. Seven respondents answered “no”, 22 said “maybe” and nine said they didn’t know.

The written responses were then analysed thematically for each response type. Three themes were identified in the “yes” responses:

  • prevention of violence (26 references)
  • challenges gender roles (25 references)
  • equality between women, men, girls and boys (17 references).

Given the phrasing of the question, it is not surprising that “prevention of violence” was the most commonly referenced theme, however it was interesting to see that “challenges gender roles” was referenced 25 times. Many of these references, however, appear to have been made by respondents who have at least some knowledge of the drivers and causes of VAW and so were able to make these links. It is less clear the extent to which respondents with no prior knowledge of the drivers and causes of VAW would identify these resources as being important for preventing violence.

Breaking down gender roles will support in improving equality between men and women. Thus the power imbalance between genders. Knowing violence against women is a result of gender inequality and power and control, breaking down these roles, and power imbalances should prevent violence. (Albeit it’s a very long and slow journey.)

Kids need to learn early that boys and girls are equal and important to prevent future violence – particularly gender-based violence. We also need our kids to be comfortable with who they are so that they don’t grow up with anxiety or other mental health issues which may lead to them accepting being victims of violence or perpetrating violence themselves.

Yes, if gender inequality is the root cause of violence then addressing rigid gender norms that perpetuate gender inequality will contribute to the prevention of violence against women and girls.

There were nine respondents who said they did not know in response to this question. The thematic analysis of the written answers show that the themes are “not on its own or at this time” (four mentions) and “effective if communicated well” (two mentions).

In the short term probably not. In the long term
probably yes!

I haven’t seen the resources before but yes I think they could eventually assist and are good messages.

Not on their own.

Would like to hope so over time, but not convinced.

The written answers to the “maybe” response type revealed similar themes to the “I don’t know” answers. These responses reflect uncertainty that these messages could prevent violence, and also highlight that the messages cannot prevent violence in isolation. Respondents believed that the messages must be coupled with and supported by other initiatives.

I think they’re an interesting and important message and provide the start of a conversation but in and of themselves and on their own I don’t feel they’re likely to have a major impact.

I think if these are promoted in the right way by the right people. These will be very successful.

The written answers to the seven “no” responses reflected a pessimism regarding the possibility that the messages could prevent violence. These responses suggested that respondents felt the messages would not be understood in some communities and that there was confusion about the causes and drivers of violence; in addition, some respondents failed to connect the messages in the resources to an anti-violence initiative.

Violence is a learned behaviour from watching family etc. then throw in grog and drugs.

They don’t directly relate to violence in the community but about what children can do.

Sadly no (be)cause the ones who are getting really heard don’t and can’t understand English maybe if there workshop’s [sic] on the communities to help these mob.

It’s just not the message I got from it.

Although these statements only reflect seven responses, they support findings from other datasets in the evaluation – that explicit education and messaging around violence and its drivers is needed, especially for people previously unfamiliar with these concepts and/or with little knowledge of DFSV or VAW.

Audience perceptions of VAW prevention

Social media survey respondents believed that VAW can be prevented. Ninety-three respondents answered “yes”, two answered “no”, three answered “I don’t know”, one refused to answer, and 10 said “maybe” (Figure 11).

Figure 11: Count of responses to “Do you believe violence against women can be prevented?” in the social media survey

The information in this graph is in the table below

Responses

Number of responses (N=110)

Yes

93

No

2

I don’t know

3

Maybe

10

Refused to answer

2

The written responses for the “maybe” response type emphasised the long-term nature of change and the need for a whole-of-society approach before change would occur.

If all people work towards the solution together then yes.

I think targeting younger generations with education and intervention programs is a great strategy.

There were some responses that were likely linked to people’s own experiences of violence and perhaps reflected a natural scepticism that comes from lived experience.

I know that education is so helpful and having access to services is essential for violence to be prevented. As someone who experienced violence growing up, I feel that it does happen quietly sometimes. However, I have great hope that once educational services or resources are more available to families, that violence against women can be prevented.

Three themes were identified in the written responses for the “yes” response type:

  • education (50 references)
  • challenging attitudes and beliefs that lead to VAW
    (32 references)
  • intergenerational/structural change (30 references).

The education theme highlighted the importance of long-term solutions, raising awareness and educating about the causes of violence as well as about healthy relationships.

I do think it [VAW] can be [prevented], but it will take A LONG time. We have to make systemic changes that have been engrained in society since forever. I believe that this can be done through educating people. Not just about violence, but about systems and structures in society that continue to oppress communities, to help people understand and break down gender roles, to assess other forms of oppression in society!

Several answers also emphasised education for men and boys, the importance of challenging harmful attitudes and beliefs, and accountability for people who use violence.

Teach men. From young boys that’s it’s not ok … men need to educate by example.

Change men’s attitudes, teach girls not to accept or excuse violence.

Yes – but it has to come from teaching the men not telling women to change. Change society’s view overall.

Within all the themes, respondents highlighted that change takes time, particularly when exacerbated by intergenerational trauma and the ongoing impacts of colonisation. Respondents also reflected on the social and cultural changes needed to prevent VAW, and how everyone needs to work together in partnership to create change in systems and structures that are the legacy of oppressive social and cultural practices and norms.

It’s intergenerational trauma and a vicious cycle. If we can educate our kids that violence isn’t the only option and that it’s not love to hit and hurt someone.

Yes, and within years, not lifetimes! Primary prevention campaigns such as this one is extremely valuable and there is emerging global evidence of these interventions being effective with children.

Yes – it will take work and time but changing community and society’s views on gendered roles and expectations plays an important role.

Absolutely. It requires a huge cultural change from everyone in Australia. And a lot of government and NGOs and charities all working together with common aims.

Ultimately, respondents felt that VAW was preventable through a combination of education and challenging attitudes and beliefs which condone VAW. However, they acknowledged that this would take time, resources, commitment and different actors all working together.

Animation survey

The animation survey shows the extent to which the OWS project successfully communicated its gender-equitable, anti-racist and anti-violence messages to its audience. While our objective was to survey a sample of 20, there were some challenges in collecting fully completed surveys from respondents. Initially, the survey was live (online) for a two-week period, but the deadline was extended several times in an effort to gain the proposed sample size. Although 78 people accessed the animation survey, when reviewing the data, it is clear that many participants completed sections 1 and 2 of the survey, but then did not complete section 3, the part of the survey where participants were asked to watch the animations. It appears that because the survey was disseminated on social media, audience members accessed the survey mostly using their mobile devices, which were not conducive to playing the animations. This reflects a key learning for the research team – that survey platforms must be accessible on a wide range of devices – but also for the project partnership, to consider the best available and most accessible means to disseminate their resources.

This section on the animation survey begins with an overview of the sample of the animation survey, followed by a presentation of the results and conclusions.

Demographics of the sample

At the end of data collection, 18 animation surveys had been collected, and a breakdown of the respondent demographics is presented in Table 11.

Table 11: Demographic data for the animation survey

Animation survey (N=18)

Gender

14 women; 4 men

Age

4 aged 26–35; 5 aged 36–45; 5 aged 46–55; 3 aged 56–65; 1 aged 66–75

Ethnicity

8 non-Indigenous white Australians; 3 Aboriginal people; 3 non-Indigenous, other ethnic minority in Australia; 1 mixed heritage; 3 prefer not to say

State or territory of residence

14 Northern Territory; 2 Victoria; 1 New South Wales; 1 Australian Capital Territory

Intersecting identities

3 were single parents or carers; 4 identified as LGBTQ+ or intersex

Highest level of western education

2 started secondary but did not complete; 4 completed secondary school; 1 started an undergraduate degree but did not complete; 2 have an undergraduate degree; 8 have a postgraduate degree; 1 “other”

Platform used to access the survey

5 TWFSG Facebook page; 5 CAAMA; 1 ABC Alice Springs; 7 “other”

Results

Pre-exposure attitudes and beliefs

Table 12: Results from the animation survey about attitudes and beliefs

QUESTIONS

RESPONSES a

Strongly agree
%
(#)

Agree
%
(#)

Neither agree or disagree
%
(#)

Disagree
%
(#)

Strongly disagree
%
(#)

I don’t know
%
(#)

Prefer not to say
%
(#)

TOTAL %
(#)

In Aboriginal cultures, men and women are equally valued in society

6

(1)

28

(5)

0

(0)

61

(11)

6

(1)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

18

In Aboriginal cultures, men and women should have different roles, in the family and in society

11

(2)

39

(7)

22

(4)

17

(3)

11

(2)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

18

In Aboriginal cultures, it is never acceptable for men to use violence against women

56

(10)

22

(4)

0

(0)

17

(3)

0

(0)

6

(1)

0

(0)

100

18

Men are considered to be superior to women in Aboriginal cultures

0

(0)

56

(10)

0

(0)

17

(3)

11

(2)

17

(3)

0

(0)

100

18

It is acceptable to use violence in Aboriginal cultures

0

(0)

11

(2)

0

(0)

22

(4)

56

(10)

11

(2)

0

(0)

100

18

Violence against women is acceptable in Aboriginal cultures

6

(1)

6

(1)

6

(1)

28

(5)

50

(9)

6

(1)

0

(0)

100

18

a The boxes shaded in orange in Table 12 highlight the highest percentage (the most frequent response to that question).
Pale orange shows the next highest percentage. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Attitudes towards gender and violence against women within Aboriginal cultures

Similar to findings from the social media survey, respondents in the animation survey believed that women and men were not valued equally in society. In the animation survey, respondents were specifically asked if women and men were valued equally in society within Aboriginal cultures. Sixty-seven per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement. Again, this may be a reflection of respondents’ perception of gender inequality and how societies currently value women and men, rather than their individual attitudes towards gender equality.

Interestingly, 50 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that women and men should have different roles in the family and in society within Aboriginal cultures. This is in contrast to the social media survey where only 7 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that men and women should have different roles. Fifty-five per cent of animation survey respondents also agreed with the statement that men are superior to women in Aboriginal cultures; in the social media survey, 27 per cent of respondents agreed with this statement. These findings reflect a key sticking point and an enduring misconception that Aboriginal cultures are inherently gender inequitable.

The two statements presented to animation survey respondents – “In Aboriginal cultures, it is never acceptable for men to use violence against women” and “Violence against women is acceptable in Aboriginal cultures” – yielded mirrored findings, with 78 per cent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with the former, and 78 per cent disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the latter. This illustrates that although half of the respondents believe that women and men should have separate roles and that men are superior to women in Aboriginal cultures, these beliefs do not correlate with a justification of violence among the respondents. If respondents believe that Aboriginal cultures are gender inequitable, it should follow that they also believe that Aboriginal cultures condone or permit VAW. The fact that these answers do not correlate could illustrate a lack of awareness among the general public about the gendered drivers of VAW.

The animations

Respondents were asked to watch the animations then answer a series of questions about them. Of the 18 respondents, 16 (89%) reported that they had not seen the animations prior to completing the survey. Two reported that they had seen the animations before completing the survey: one said they had seen the animations on TV (this may have been because the animation survey deadline was extended and the animations had been released on Imparja by the end of April 2021), and one said “Screen Australia has done something like this before”. This response indicates that the respondent had not seen these animations previously, but felt they had seen something similar in the past.

Respondents were asked what they thought about the animations and whether they enjoyed them. Respondents reacted positively to the animations with all respondents replying that they enjoyed the animations: 39 per cent said they found the animations enjoyable and 61 per cent said they found the animations very enjoyable.

The remaining questions in the survey were qualitative, where respondents were asked to write answers in response to the questions. These written responses were then analysed thematically and coded as different themes. The key themes for each qualitative response are presented below.

Key messages from the animation

Respondents were asked to explain in 25 words or less what they thought the animations were about. Five key themes in these answers were identified:

  • learning from Elders
  • process of sharing knowledge
  • equality between men and women
  • importance of family and relationships
  • strength of Aboriginal cultures.

Within these themes, it was clear that the gender-equitable message was clearly communicated to respondents. This may be a direct result of the addition of the strapline to the animations. Some respondents noted that they had been surprised by the gender-equitable message as they did not know or believe this previously.

That just as in all cultures, culture can be distorted by perpetrators to justify abusive behaviour. Wonderful to see women’s business so positively portrayed and on equal footing. Women’s voices in front.

That men and women are equal. Culture is strong and handed down to generation and generation.

About the sharing of knowledge. It was also about how the women and the men are equal to each other. This was interesting to me. I have always been led to believe that the women hold the power – so this was new information.

Respondents were asked to write what they had identified as the three key messages of the animations. Six key themes were identified: women and men are equal; the importance of Elders; culture is strong; loss of culture; cultural knowledge keeps people strong; and the importance of family and relationships.

Once more, the gender-equitable message had been clearly communicated to respondents with most replying “women and men are equal” in response to this question. Twelve out of 18 respondents identified “women and men are equal” as the key message in the animations.

Equality is possible.

Culture is still strong in Central Australia [especially] women’s business.

All cultures can be distorted by patriarchy.

Respondents further identified the strength of culture and the importance of passing down knowledge through relationships.

Respondents were asked to identify the target audience of the animations to see if it was apparent that the animations were developed to challenge misconceptions within the general public and specifically among non-Indigenous people.

The most commonly identified target audiences were: young people (Aboriginal and non-Indigenous); non-Indigenous people; Aboriginal people; and everyone. Several respondents were able to identify non-Indigenous people as the primary target audience precisely because of misconceptions about traditional Aboriginal cultures and violence.

All people. Non-Indigenous community uses many made-up stories of culture to justify white privilege they hold and the violence they ignore. This is important gender-equity messaging for Aboriginal people just [stops violence] at the start [and] focuses on white culture.

However, most respondents identified young Aboriginal people as the primary audience. This may be because some of the animations used directly address “young ones”. It could also be because respondents thought this messaging was particularly important for young people to educate them about healthy relationships.

Key lessons about gender, Aboriginal cultures and VAW from the animations

Respondents were asked if they learned anything from the animations, and if so, to list three things. The two most commonly identified learnings were women and men are equal in Aboriginal cultures, and knowledge is passed down through the generations.

Once more, this highlights that the gender-equitable message of the animations was clearly communicated to respondents. This is in contrast to the pre-evaluation pilot surveys that showed that this messaging was not clear in the draft animations. Once more, this shows the importance of explicit messaging in the resources developed by the projects.

Respondents were asked what they understood from the animations about women’s roles in Aboriginal cultures. Respondents understood and identified two main roles for women in Aboriginal cultures: to pass down knowledge and to raise strong children. Respondents also identified that women’s roles are equal to those of men and that women are strong within culture.

Women are equals in the Aboriginal culture and they hold a large amount of knowledge that has been passed it [sic] throughout generations.

Women’s roles in Aboriginal culture are different to men’s roles but equally important, and their roles balance out with each other. Women pass on their knowledge to their female relations through the generations.

Similarly, respondents understood and identified two main roles for men from the animations: passing on knowledge to the next generation and teaching young boys about men’s roles. Respondents further identified that men’s roles were equal to women’s.

Men’s roles are important in Aboriginal culture and families, and senior men have more knowledge and authority. Along with senior women, senior men lead the way and pass on their knowledge through the generations in order to keep families strong and connected to their culture, their history and who they are.

However, several respondents felt the animations were not clear about men’s roles and they did not understand much about them from the animations.

Animation did not mention specific male roles.

It was not clear what men’s roles are.

Respondents were clearly divided in their answers to the question “What did you understand from the animations about violence against women and how this problem is viewed in Aboriginal cultures?” While eight respondents were able to identify that VAW is not condoned or acceptable within traditional Aboriginal cultures, several respondents did not identify any anti-violence messages in the animations at all.

The written material kept stating both are equal however it did not depict violence against women at all.

This illustrates the need for explicit anti-violence messaging and further education and awareness in the community about the gendered drivers of VAW. We know from the National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) that one of the six strongest predictors of attitudes supportive of VAW is “having a low level of understanding of violence against women” (Cripps, et al., 2019). Therefore, increasing knowledge within the community about the drivers of VAW can possibly help to challenge these harmful attitudes and, ultimately, prevent VAW.

Preventing violence against women

Respondents were asked to select whether they thought the animations were important. If they answered “yes” or “no”, respondents were asked to give an explanation for their answer. Eighty-three per cent of respondents answered “yes” (they thought the animations were important), with 17 per cent saying “maybe”. No respondents thought the animations were unimportant.

In their written responses, respondents believed the animations were important because they were a simple and easy method of communication, they communicated the strength of culture, and they challenged misconceptions about Aboriginal cultures.

Increasing understanding and disposing of the myth that violence is a part of Aboriginal culture rather than a part of all cultures is essential.

Soft, early interventions, education is a key tool in changing attitudes to traditional gendered roles.

Respondents were divided when specifically asked whether the animations can help to prevent violence. Thirty-nine per cent of respondents believed that the animations would help to prevent VAW, 28 per cent answered “maybe”, 22 per cent were unsure and 11 per cent answered “no”.

For the “no” response type, the respondents explained they did not think the animations would help to prevent violence because “it doesn’t deal with the root cause”.

For the “yes” response type, respondents identified two main ways the animations could prevent violence: through promoting gender equality, and through being a part of broader social change.

Promoting gender equity will prevent violence but it is a long game.

Promotes equality and places high value on female contributions to society.

When asked specifically if the animations help to prevent VAW, respondents provided similar responses to the previous question. Thirty-nine per cent of respondents answered “yes”, 39 per cent answered “maybe”, 11 per cent answered “no”, 6 per cent didn’t know and 6 per cent preferred not to say.

In qualitative responses, respondents felt the animations could prevent VAW through the promotion of gender equality.

Promote the role of women in Aboriginal society helps to change male attitudes to gender equity.

There were similarities between the “yes” and “maybe” response types. Several respondents noted that the animations needed to work alongside other interventions.

Systemic violence in this country towards women is a big issue – this animation can assist to address it but we need more education.

Gender equity will prevent [domestic violence] but it is a long game and difficult to draw a line from this to the horrendous rates of [domestic violence] in Central Australia.

Once more, the respondents who answered “no” felt the animations would not prevent VAW because they “do not address the root cause”. It is unclear what these respondents believe the root cause of VAW is – this once more points to a need for greater awareness and education in the community.

Respondents overwhelmingly believed that VAW can be prevented, with 94 per cent of respondents selecting “yes” and 6 per cent saying they didn’t know.

In their written responses, the respondents identified three key ways that VAW could be prevented:

  • through education and awareness
  • through increased support services for women
  • by men changing their behaviour.

These themes reflect findings in other datasets. Specifically, respondents felt that the problem of VAW needs to be taken seriously by government and by the whole of society; that it must be matched by greater commitment and funding; and that men and boys need to be engaged in violence prevention, and men held to account for their use of violence.

Yes, with the right supports, education and services.

Of course it can be prevented as long as the government puts more funding and resources into programs like this and stop pretending like it doesn’t exist.

But men need to change – and that requires working with them on this.

Of course it is because violence is a choice and men can make other choices.

Staff training feedback surveys

The evaluation provided iterative feedback to the project partnership so it could improve the projects as they progressed. Through the training feedback survey conducted at the first two training sessions as well as through ongoing conversations with Tangentyere, TWFSG identified a need for training in social media communications. Hence the final two training sessions were on social media communications. Tangentyere identified this a priority as they use social media platforms to disseminate much of their project content and resources. The EQI’s communications team delivered two training sessions to TWFSG members on how to develop content and communicate effective messages on social media.

Demographics of the sample

The training feedback surveys were anonymous and did not collect demographic information. However, some demographic data from the 43 training participants are presented in Figure 12. There were 32 women who attended one or more training sessions, nine men, and two non-binary people.

Figure 12: Training participants disaggregated by gender and Indigeneity

The information in this graph is in the table below

Gender

Aboriginal

Other First Nations

Non-Indigenous (white)

Non-Indigenous (other ethnic minority)

Female

12 1 19

N/A

Male

2

N/A

6 1

Non-binary

N/A

N/A

2

N/A

At the end of the four training sessions, a total of 36 anonymous responses to the training feedback survey were collected:

  • 18 from the first data collection training session
  • 14 from the second data collection training session
  • four from the social media communication
    training sessions.

Results

What participants learned

For the data collection training, participants found the sessions comprehensive, but many reported that they would have liked more time, especially to go over concepts and to test the surveys. Participants reported learning about:

  • research, in particular, research ethics
  • the steps in data collection
  • obtaining informed consent for research respondents
  • maintaining confidentiality
  • implementing research safety protocols, including how to respond if a participant is distressed
  • how to identify and mitigate vicarious trauma
  • Indigenist and feminist research practices, as well as decolonising methodologies and ethical research with Indigenous people, including data sovereignty
  • “how to be a good researcher” including how to ask questions, remain neutral, and engage with participants with sensitivity and kindness
  • the difference between quantitative and qualitative data
  • how to understand data and data storage
  • the findings from the interim report
  • the difference between attitudinal change and behaviour change
  • individual attitudes and behaviours versus social norms.

Participants expressed a very high level of enjoyment and engagement for the two social media training sessions. During these sessions, participants developed their understanding and capacity about Instagram and how to use this platform to promote their work. Participants also learned how to use hashtags, write posts and share pictures on Instagram Stories.

What needed to be improved or what participants still wanted to know

Participants thought the training sessions could be improved by being longer and/or including more time to practice the surveys and have more breaks. They also wanted to learn more about how to support people who felt triggered by the surveys and they wanted access to further reading and resources to cement their learning. Participants would also have liked more statistics about the prevalence of VAW (experience and perpetration) within both the national and local contexts, and to learn more about how governments and other stakeholders could make use of the research. In the social media training, participants said they would like to learn more about how to further utilise Instagram as a platform for communication.

The feedback provided by participants in the surveys was used to develop further training sessions and/or was followed up with additional resources and support.

Further training needs

Participants identified a range of additional training needs and support. These included training in cultural awareness, cultural safety, trauma-informed responses, data analysis, the drivers of DFSV, qualitative data, responding to DFSV, how data can be used and cross-cultural research. Participants expressed that they would like more TWFSG and TMFSG members trained as researchers and that they would like regular support from the principal investigator throughout the data collection period.

In the social media training, participants said they would like further training on how to use different social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.

Discussion

The key findings from each component of the evaluation are discussed below.

Attitudinal surveys with project participants

Many of the findings from the SRFV evaluation are supported by the findings from the 2020 Family and Community Safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (FaCtS) Study and the 2017 NCAS findings on attitudes towards VAW and gender equality among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Cripps, et al., 2019; Guthrie et al., 2020). Similarly to these two studies, the SRFV evaluation found highly gender-equitable views among the cohort – particularly in the project participants who took part in the attitudinal surveys. It was rare for participants to justify violence on the basis of non-conformity to traditional gender roles within the household or family; rather, they were more likely to justify violence in cases or situations associated with jealousing. Moreover, although attitudinal survey participants were more likely to present highly gender-equitable views in relation to gender roles and norms, a high proportion of participants still justified violence in one situation or another.

Overall, in the responses to the questions about roles traditionally held by women, survey respondents appear to believe that there should be equality for women and men in the roles of parenting, shopping and “household work”, but the questions about individual behaviours and social norms show that these gender-equitable attitudes are not translating into practice and behaviours. There is an opportunity here for more education and messages to target gender equality in the household roles seen as “women’s roles”. For example, in the MCDC project there was a lot of messaging about the traditional roles of women and men in parenting being challenged, and these messages were being shared widely. This project was reportedly successful in starting conversations about a more equitable split of the roles between women and men. It could be beneficial to revisit this project with the research findings in this report to refine and expand the ways that these messages and conversations are had in the community. Interestingly, the project participants who reported learning something new from the project in the endline survey had mixed levels of exposure. Almost half of those participants who reported learning something new about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures had low or very low exposure. This indicates that the messaging of the project is clear and effective, especially considering the short time frame in which people had been exposed to the project. Further interaction with the projects and their associated materials will only serve to further increase people’s understandings of the themes over time.

The largest positive differences in attitudes in 11 respondents who undertook both baseline and endline surveys were found in the responses specifically about what girls and women can or should do that boys and men cannot or should not (and vice versa). This is likely reflective of the explicit and direct messaging of the GCBC project that girls and boys can do and like the same activities. The most positive shifts were found among participants with high levels of program exposure and this perhaps shows that repeated and intensive messaging is needed for messages to resonate among the cohort.

A number of negative shifts in the 11 respondents who participated in both baseline and endline attitudinal surveys were also identified in respondents with high levels of exposure, and this may be reflective of the additions to the endline survey. After analysing the data from the baseline survey and discussing the findings with the project partnership, we decided to add additional questions to the endline survey to tease out the differences between individual attitudes, individual behaviours and social norms. We also wanted to make the questions easier to understand and have them more accurately capture participants’ views. We knew that the additions we made to the endline survey might reveal more gender-inequitable views and we discussed that with the project partnership. The partnership decided to add those questions, because they wanted more accurate knowledge and understanding of people’s attitudes, behaviours and social norms. They also wanted to use the information for further programming as the work is ongoing.

However, the negative shifts can also be explained by the context. The FaCtS study, for example, found that high gender-equity scores among its cohort were about half as common among remote participants as compared with urban participants (Guthrie et al., 2020). Moreover, this can be explained by the different starting points of the participants – many of the participants in this evaluation have witnessed, used and/or experienced extreme violence. The GCBC and OWS projects are working in an environment with some of the highest levels of violence in the world, with much of this violence categorised as severe (Brown, 2020; Northern Territory Government, 2018). Moreover, the cyclical nature of this violence, combined with intergenerational trauma and the ongoing impacts of colonisation, make this environment particularly complex. Other studies have identified the “normalisation” of violence as being a key challenge in addressing and preventing violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (Guthrie et al., 2020). This challenging context and the individual circumstances of the baseline and endline survey participants may explain the difference in attitudes among some participants, and/or suggest that intensive exposure to messaging and programming is needed over a longer period of time to challenge these views.

Key informant interviews

Among the cohort of staff who participated in both baseline and endline KIIs, an array of impacts were identified. Only one had prior experience working in primary prevention and/or in the DFSV sector. Through working on one or both projects, all SRFV staff had increased their knowledge about primary prevention and their understanding of the drivers and causes of VAW. Additionally, they had increased their knowledge and skills, particularly in group facilitation, research capacity and community-development approaches. Staff have begun applying these increased skills to a number of other projects and in other facets of their roles. However, a few challenges were also identified by key informants, the most significant being the fact that a dedicated primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory was and still is non-existent – those who are working in primary prevention are doing this work in addition to their existing roles. Moreover, many staff shared that they often feel unsupported, particularly by governments, and that coordination of services is lacking – as one key informant said about the current level of support, “It’s abysmal”. Nevertheless, staff remain optimistic for future opportunities, particularly in cross-sector engagement. The KIIs show that workforce capacity has been developed considerably by the two projects, but that ongoing specialist training and greater funding is needed for primary prevention and related agencies, and greater funding is needed for primary prevention and the entire DFSV sector in the Northern Territory.

Social media and animation surveys

Both the social media and animation surveys showed that the projects’ gender-equitable messaging was successfully communicated to the audience and the resources were able to raise audience awareness about gender equality. Anti-violence messaging was less successfully communicated, as this was not explicit in the resources or the animations. Several respondents in each survey, however, were able to make the link between the promotion of gender equality and an anti-violence message. Anti-racism messages were also successfully communicated through the strengths-based representation of Indigenous children, families and communities.

Prior to watching the animation, the animation survey respondents were more likely to agree that women and men should have different roles in the family and society and that in Aboriginal cultures men were superior to women. This suggests these respondents’ views may have been challenged by the animations’ content and several respondents reported surprise at the gender-equitable messaging. This suggests the animations may have had some degree of success in raising awareness that traditional Aboriginal cultures are not inherently gender inequitable. It is less clear whether the animations challenged the misconception that VAW is acceptable in traditional Aboriginal cultures. Although several respondents did identify and discuss this misconception in their answers, the respondents were unlikely to agree with the statements that VAW was acceptable within Aboriginal cultures prior to watching the animations. This suggests the respondents’ views were reinforced and/or supported by the animations. For the animations to be viewed among the general public – and their target audience of non-Indigenous community members – wider platforms for distribution are needed and the animations need to be accessible on a wider range of devices, such as mobile phones.

The social media survey respondents had highly gender-equitable views prior to viewing the resources. Once more, this suggests that the resources supported or reinforced their views rather than challenging them. However, they were most divided on the statement about whether men were superior to women in Aboriginal cultures. This is a key sticking point in both the social media and animation surveys and is reflected in the baseline and endline surveys. More work is needed to address this perception that gender equality is not (or cannot be) endorsed by traditional Aboriginal cultures.

Most respondents in both the animation and social media surveys believed that the material they viewed was important and that it can help to prevent VAW. However, these materials are part of long-term solutions and must be supported by other programs and interventions.

Staff training feedback surveys

The training feedback surveys showed that workforce capacity was built through the training element of the SRFV evaluation in two key areas: research and social media communications. Staff found the training sessions facilitated by the EQI comprehensive and reported learning a range of new skills and increasing their knowledge. The training feedback surveys also identified a number of future training needs, particularly around cultural awareness and trauma, and highlighted the need and desire from staff for ongoing rather than one-off training.

Strengths and limitations

In the global evidence base on VAW, evaluations of primary prevention projects have been identified as a key research gap. This gap must be addressed in order to improve our understanding about what works to prevent violence (Guthrie et al., 2020). Moreover, research on VAW in remote communities is limited and there is a “need for tailored research designs that take account of the complexities of conducting research on sensitive issues in remote communities” (Cripps et al., 2019, p. 8). The SRFV evaluation addresses both of these key gaps in the evidence base. In addition, there are a number of other unique strengths of this project:

  • This is the first formal evaluation of primary prevention projects in the Northern Territory – this research has never been done previously in this context.
  • The evaluation provided the opportunity to build the capacity of researchers and practitioners in violence prevention and research in the Northern Territory
  • There was a higher response rate than originally expected, which shows interest in engagement in the research.
  • The evaluation achieved a good sample size (225 in total) and surpassed the proposed sample sizes for most methods in remote communities in the Northern Territory. The baseline and endline surveys were largely conducted with what is often considered an inaccessible cohort because they are 1) remote; 2) transient; 3) have limited English and/or literacy; and 4) have little access to technology. The survey provided important insights for future research in similar contexts, with similar communities or population groups.

Limitations include:

  • A number of baseline and endline attitudinal respondents had low or very low exposure to the projects – their views could perhaps therefore be more a reflection of general attitudes and beliefs within the community, rather than used to evaluate the impact of the projects.
  • As there are high levels of violence in Central Australia, we might expect this to correlate with gender-inequitable attitudes and beliefs. However, the high proportion of gender-equitable views revealed in the attitudinal survey could suggest several possibilities:
    • the attitudinal survey cohort is not representative of the broader community where this violence occurs, particularly as 60 per cent of the baseline survey participants had already been exposed to program messaging prior to the survey
    • the attitudinal survey questions were not successful in eliciting participants’ attitudes
    • project participants did not disclose their true attitudes and/or provided answers that they believed the researchers wanted to hear because they were aware of the program aims (social desirability bias)
    • violence in Central Australia is also influenced by other factors aside from gender norms
    • there could be a possibility that the link between attitudes and norms and actual behaviour is not as strong as other factors, or that attitude change does not necessarily translate to behaviour change.
  • Although the sample size is considered large for this context, it remains a small sample size relative to research conducted in other communities.
  • There were challenges in retaining the cohort from the baseline attitudinal survey for the endline survey – although this had been anticipated by the research team due to the highly mobile and transient population in Central Australia, this nevertheless poses a limitation to this study as limited comparisons can be made to evaluate the projects’ impact.
  • In the animation survey, the analysis could not be conducted using data disaggregated by gender or Indigeneity because the numbers were too small.
  • Due to the length of the project (12 months), there was a relatively short period of time between the baseline and endline surveys. Baseline and endline interviews/surveys in some instances were conducted only six months apart. It would have been better to have a longer period between the surveys, in order to allow more time for project work and messaging to be disseminated.
  • The animation survey had a low response rate, likely due to technological issues and difficulty in getting the animations to play. We attempted to overcome this by testing the animations on several platforms, but it appeared to only be an issue for some users with certain devices when accessing the survey through Facebook.
  • Few project participants had seen the animations, so these participants had a low level of exposure to the OWS messaging.
  • In the baseline and endline attitudinal surveys with project participants, questions were asked about “Aboriginal culture”, a framing choice made to make it easier for respondents to understand. In Central Australia, Aboriginal cultures are often referred to simply as “culture” – for example, “in culture” or “culture ways”. The framing of the questions in this way is in line with common usage in the context. However, we recognise there is no one “Aboriginal culture” but multiple Aboriginal cultures in Central Australia and across Australia.

Directions for future research

The SRFV evaluation identified several key areas for future research. In addition to the well-documented need for further research on what works to prevent VAW (Brown, 2020; Ellsberg et al., 2015; Guthrie et al., 2020), further avenues for research include:

  • research on social norms with a representative sample in Central Australia to better understand the drivers and intersections between the drivers of VAW in the region. Studies have shown that having views supportive of gender equality is a protective factor against the experience and use of violence (Guthrie et al., 2020). However, the cohort in this study has mostly highly gender-equitable views, yet there are also high rates of VAW in Central Australia, in both frequency and severity. Further research is needed to explore this
  • research on jealousing – male sexual entitlement, a pattern of control and the sanctioning of real or imagined sexually inappropriate conduct (Brown et al., 2021). Research is needed to understand jealousing and its links to VAW to better inform programming in the Central Australian context
  • research on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s experiences of racialised sexism. At many points in this evaluation, it was apparent that Aboriginal women’s experiences of racism and sexism were perceived as separate and distinct by research participants. The view was that Aboriginal women experienced racism as colonised Indigenous people and in addition, they also experienced sexism as women. However, the type of sexism Aboriginal women experience looks and manifests differently because they are colonised Indigenous people. Research to explore and understand racialised sexism can better support programming and messaging to address the barriers experienced by Aboriginal women when they experience violence, as well to support their help-seeking, reporting and engagement with the legal system
  • a national perpetration study to further research, understand and develop programming to address and prevent VAW in Australia. Data on violence perpetration are currently lacking in Australia. There is a common misconception that Indigenous women only experience violence from Indigenous men. We know in other parts of the world, for example in the United States, that Native American women are more likely to experience violence from a non-Native man (Deer, 2018). An Australian perpetration study that includes measurements around the relationship between perpetrator and victim and survivor and disaggregates by gender and Indigeneity would help to better understand and inform programming, possibly, to challenge this misconception.

Implications and recommendations for policy and practice

Findings from the SRFV evaluation have helped to identify some key recommendations specific to the project partnership as well as broader recommendations for primary prevention in the Northern Territory.

Recommendations for the project partnership

The recommendations for the project partnership are in three key areas: clarity of messaging, improved accessibility and awareness raising.

  1. In future project activities, the project partnership could use more explicit and accessible messaging to target and challenge highly entrenched attitudes and beliefs, such as the justification of violence, jealousing and the misconception that traditional Aboriginal cultures are inherently gender inequitable and/or condone VAW.
  2. The project partnership should aim to increase the accessibility of its resources and materials by ensuring they are accessible and disseminated using a range of platforms (social media, print media, digital media).
  3. The project partnership should continue to educate about, raise awareness and increase understanding of VAW in the community, especially regarding the drivers of VAW and the promotion of gender equality as a means to prevent VAW.

Recommendations for practitioners and policymakers

Projects like GCBC and OWS – with limited funding and relatively short timeframes – cannot in isolation prevent VAW in the community. These projects must be supported by other interventions at different levels within an integrated response. To enhance and support primary prevention programs and to prevent VAW, the following recommendations are made for practitioners and policymakers.

Workforce support and training
  1. Dedicated primary prevention positions should receive sustained funding and support, to align with the long-term goal of growing the primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory.
  2. Primary prevention programs need to be supported by long-term and adequate funding.
  3. Comprehensive ongoing training programs on the drivers of VAW; how to identify, respond to and support DFSV victims and survivors; and trauma-informed responses should be developed and delivered to workers in the DFSV sector, as well as other actors, departments and agencies impacted by DFSV, such as schools, hospitals and police.
  4. Multiple studies and levels of government have called for programs to be evaluated to better inform our understanding of what works to prevent VAW – therefore, evaluations must be supported with research funding and training and a recognition that project staff on the ground do not always have the time, experience and resources to conduct the research. Evaluations should be appropriately funded on top of the project costs.
Targeted and tailored prevention initiatives
  1. Prevention initiatives should have accessibility requirements that consider the translations of language and complex concepts, meeting the needs of persons with disability and those in remote areas.
  2. Programs and responses to prevent and address VAW should focus on and ensure accountability for men who use violence, while supporting women who have experienced violence.
  3. Primary prevention initiatives should be locally designed, context-specific and developed in partnership with the communities they affect.
  4. Primary prevention initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities should be developed using a community development approach and must be community-driven and governed by members from those communities.
Awareness-raising and transforming attitudes, behaviours and norms
  1. Primary prevention initiatives should educate and raise awareness in the general public about the causes and drivers of VAW in accessible formats and with explicit messaging.
  2. Acknowledging that awareness-raising efforts (such as one-off anti-violence campaigns) alone are not enough to shift harmful attitudes, behaviours and norms in order to prevent VAW there is the continued need to fund and support long-term, evidence-based prevention initiatives which are appropriate for Northern Territory remote community contexts.
Engagement and collaboration
  1. Primary prevention initiatives should be developed in partnership with government departments in order to embed and “mainstream” primary prevention initiatives and campaigns, for example with the health department, education department, business and commerce, as well as the criminal justice system.
  2. All national-, state- and territory-level initiatives to address and prevent VAW must involve and collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
  3. Primary prevention initiatives should engage with men and boys, and involve them in the development of messaging, content and materials to prevent VAW.

Conclusion

The SRFV project partnership developed and delivered two primary prevention projects using a community development approach. The GCBC project was developed in partnership between TFVPP and LCFC. The GCBC project worked with early years educators and members from Alice Springs Town Camps to develop culturally appropriate and strengths-based resources to challenge gender stereotypes that exist within the community of Alice Springs. The project further aimed to increase positive representation of Aboriginal children and families through its resources.

The OWS project was developed in partnership between TFVPP and italk Studios. The project worked with community members from Alice Springs Town Camps to develop eight animations to challenge the misconception that VAW is condoned by traditional Aboriginal cultures. The animations further aimed to produce and disseminate positive representations of Aboriginal cultures, people and communities.

The SRFV evaluation found highly gender-equitable views across all components of the evaluations. Most evaluation participants who were surveyed or interviewed were unlikely to support inequitable gender roles, condone VAW or believe that violence was acceptable within Aboriginal cultures. However, a high proportion of attitudinal survey project participants justified VAW in one instance or more. Half of the animation survey participants believed that women and men should have separate roles and the majority (56 per cent) believed that men were superior to women in Aboriginal cultures. Social media survey respondents were divided on the points regarding Aboriginal cultures, but largely held gender-equitable views across the board.

The project had a demonstrable impact on some respondents’ knowledge and attitudes about gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures. Participants in the baseline and endline attitudinal surveys, animation survey and social media survey indicated that they had learned something new from the project, resources and/or materials, and indicated that their beliefs and ideas had been challenged and/or changed. Although the evaluation was conducted over a short period of time, there are several indicators of change:

  • increased capacity of the project partnership staff
  • positive shifts in attitudes and beliefs among the SRFV project participants
  • improved awareness as reported by some of the respondents in the baseline and endline surveys, animation survey and social media survey.

However, there were also negative changes in some attitudes and beliefs in the baseline and endline survey, particularly in relation to gender equality, justification of violence and VAW within Aboriginal cultures, which may be explained by external influences, as detailed in the “Discussion” section. Moreover, several participants in the endline survey and social media survey reported that they did not learn anything new or have their views changed, as they already held gender-equitable beliefs – in these instances, respondents reported that their views had been supported or reinforced by the project.

The SRFV evaluation showed that the project resources and products clearly communicated gender-equitable and anti-racist messages to their audiences. Social media survey and animation survey respondents were able to identify these messages in the resources and animations, and several respondents reported learning something new and/or having their views challenged by these materials. However, the resources were less successful in communicating their anti-violence messages. This is likely because this messaging was not explicit within the project resources and animations. Some respondents who demonstrated prior knowledge of the causes and drivers of VAW in their responses were able to identify these links, but most respondents who did not demonstrate this prior knowledge in their answers did not report understanding or learning anti-violence messages in the resources or animations. Some respondents reported that they did not think the resources or animations could prevent VAW because they “did not address the root cause”. It is therefore recommended that the project partnership endeavour to educate about and increase awareness of the causes and drivers of VAW and promote gender equality to prevent VAW in its future activities.

The SRFV evaluation found that the project resources and materials resonated with community members and audiences because of their diverse representations, particularly the strengths-based depictions of Aboriginal children, families and communities. Project resources and materials had cultural authority as they were developed by community members and the projects were governed by Aboriginal people from Alice Springs Town Camps. The community development approach and community-driven nature of the projects meant the language in the project materials reflected and was accessible to the community, and the resources represented the lived experiences of Aboriginal people in Central Australia.

The findings from this evaluation show the GCBC and OWS projects have had some success in challenging gender stereotypes and also show early indications of change in harmful attitudes and beliefs that justify VAW. In a short period of time, participants reported changes in their attitudes and beliefs regarding gender, violence and Aboriginal cultures. The evaluation indicates the two projects have had positive impacts on their key target audiences: SRFV staff, project participants and non-Indigenous community members. These early indications of change are promising findings, but further research is needed to understand whether this change is maintained and whether it translates to behaviour change and transformation of norms in the long term.

The SRFV evaluation is the first formal evaluation of primary prevention projects in the Northern Territory, with a focus on primary prevention within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The evaluation found that there is no dedicated primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory and that staff currently working in primary prevention do this work in addition to their other roles. Staff reported feeling unsupported, overworked and undervalued. Staff reported high rates of burnout and vicarious trauma, and called for more funding, training and recognition for people working in primary prevention and across the DFSV sector in the Northern Territory, who are currently responding to high levels of extreme violence. Despite these challenges, the SRFV evaluation found that the projects had increased staff capacity and confidence in their work and increased their knowledge and skills in primary prevention. Staff continue to work creatively and innovatively in primary prevention, despite unreliable and inadequate funding.

Footnotes

  1. In this report, the term “participants” describes people who were directly or indirectly engaged in the projects, “respondents” refers to people who answered the attitudinal surveys, “staff” and “key informants” refer to people who participated in interviews, and “audience” refers to people who looked at social media or video content.
  2. For Aboriginal people, Country is a concept that goes beyond mere “land” to capture an interdependent relationship between people and the lands and seas of their ancestors. Aboriginal people have a spiritual connection and guardianship over Country (see https://www.commonground.org.au/learn/connection-to-country). To be “off one’s Country” implies more than removal from land; it encapsulates a spiritual disconnection and disruption to the fundamental wellbeing of an Aboriginal person.
  3. This was articulated in consent instruments, and respondents could withhold consent for their de-identified data to be stored with Tangentyere. No respondents selected to withhold their data, and all consented to their de-identified data being stored with Tangentyere.
  4. In this report, the term “participants” describes people who were directly or indirectly engaged in the projects, “respondents” refers to people who answered the attitudinal surveys, “staff” and “key informants” refer to people who participated in interviews, and “audience” refers to people who looked at social media or video content.
  5. This occurred three times over the course of the evaluation, and the protocol was followed by the staff researcher. In all three cases, the respondent elected to discontinue the survey but did not withdraw consent. Support was provided to the respondent by the partner organisations, as outlined in the safety protocol.
  6. When the surveys were conducted there were 32 respondents, however at the time of writing this report, one respondent had passed away. Data on this respondent were removed, as per the ethics agreement.
  7. See Appendices F and G for additional baseline and endline results.
  8. In the baseline survey, respondents’ clarifying comments were used to make sense of personal views and practices in the communities. In the endline survey, for the gender norms section, additional questions were added to capture behaviours in the home and norms in the community, to better understand the differences between respondents’ personal views, individual behaviours in the home and social norms in the community.
  9. “Growing up the children” refers to childrearing.
  10. We have decided to represent respondents’ quotes verbatim and may include grammatical errors.
  11. “Hopeful, Together, Strong” is a contextually specific framework of principles and indicators developed with the DFSV sector in the Northern Territory. The “Hopeful, Together, Strong” principles are principles of good practice to prevent violence against women in the Northern Territory.
  12. This indicates that the project needs to further develop participants’ understanding of sex as biological and gender as a social construct. Through this understanding, participants can learn that gender roles are not biologically determined, and that some people do not identify with the gender assigned to their sex. This understanding can help to break down stigma for people who engage in gender nonconforming roles and activities, and prejudice against gender diverse people.
  13. Within traditional Aboriginal cultures there are often separate but complementary roles between men and women, and knowledge reserved for men and women is balanced and complementary. Furthermore, all relationships are expressed and governed through a kinship system that determines how people relate to each other, and even dictates “avoidance relationships” (see “Definitions and concepts”). These systems were originally used to guard against incest. Furthermore, these systems are about maintaining harmony (McConvell et al., 2018).
  14. Many anthropologists note that women and men had separate but equal and complementary roles within traditional Aboriginal cultures (Bell, 1983; Daylight & Johnstone, 1986; Kwan, 2014). However, through the process of colonisation, more value has been assigned to the roles of men and inequitable gender roles have been introduced in Aboriginal communities (Smith, 1999). When rigidly enforced, these inequitable roles are part of the gendered factors that drive VAW (Our Watch, 2018).
  15. This respondent gave a mix of answers with both positive and negative shifts (see Appendix H).
  16. All project staff were assigned a random code. This code is used to distinguish their quotes, and is paired with either “baseline” or “endline” to show from which interview it was quoted.
  17. This study uses the term “Aboriginal culture” to mean Aboriginal cultures in Central Australia, however, this term implies there is a monolithic Aboriginal culture, which there is not. Indigenous peoples are diverse and Aboriginal peoples have different languages, spiritualities and cultural practices.
  18. The interim report was developed for the project partnership and presented the findings from the baseline attitudinal survey and baseline interviews.
  19. Anangu is the name for people in several Aboriginal groups who are the traditional custodians in the Western Desert region.

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Cripps, K., Diemer, K., Honey, N., Mickle, J., Morgan, J., Parkes, A., Politoff, V., Powell, A., Stubbs, J., Ward, A., & Webster, K. (2019). Attitudes towards violence against women and gender equality among Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders: Findings from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) (ANROWS Insights, 03/2019). ANROWS.

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Daylight, P., & Johnstone, M. (1986). Women’s business. Australian Government Publishing Service.

Deer, S. (2018). Native people and violent crime: Gendered violence and tribal jurisdiction. Du Bois Review, 15(1), 89–106.

Department of Attorney-General and Justice. (2018). Northern Territory Crime Statistics Data through June 2018. Department of Attorney-General and Justice, Northern Territory Government.

Dobbs, T., & Eruera, M. (2014, April). Kaupapa Māori wellbeing framework: The basis for whānau violence prevention and intervention (Issues paper 6). New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse. https://nzfvc.org.nz/issues-papers-6

Duncan, C. (2020, March 19). Domestic violence framework addresses trauma behind violence. National Indigenous Times. https://nit.com.au/new-domestic-violence-framework-to-address-trauma-behind-violence/

Ellsberg, M., Arango, D. J., Morton, M., Gennari, F., Kiplesund, S., Contreras, M., & Watts, C. (2015). Prevention of violence against women and girls: What does the evidence say? Lancet, 385, 1555–1566.

García-Moreno, C., Zimmerman, C., Morris-Gehring, A., Heise, L., Amin, A., Abrahams, N., . . . Watts, C. (2015). Addressing violence against women: A call to action. Lancet, 385(9978), 1685–1695. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61830-4

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (2006). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Transacton Publishers. (Original work published 1967)

Guthrie, J., Thurber, K., Lovett, R., Gray, M., Banks, E., Olsen, A., Calabria, B., Priest, N., Dance, P., Thandrayen, J., Colonna, E., Cohen, R., Brinckley, M., Wells, S., Salmon, M., Doery, K., Movva, N., Dunbar, T., Hovane, V. (2020). “The answers were there before white man come in”: Stories of strength and resilience for responding to violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University.

Humphreys, C., Hester, M., Hague , G., Mullender, A., & Abrahams, H. (2000). From good intentions to good practice: Mapping services working with families where there is domestic violence. Scottish Community Safety Network. http://www.safercommunitiesscotland.org/wp-content/uploads/from-good-intentions-to-good-practice-mapping-services-working-with.pdf

Kite, E., & Davy, C. (2015). Using Indigenist and Indigenous methodologies to connect to deeper understandings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ quality of life. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 26, 191–194.

Kwan, J. (2014). From taboo to epidemic: Family violence within Aboriginal communities. Global Social Welfare, 2, 1–8.

Marcus, R., & Page, E. (2014). Changing discriminatory norms affecting adolescent girls through communication activities: A review of evidence. ODI.

Martin, K., & Mirraboopa, B. (2009). Ways of knowing, being and doing: A theoretical framework and methods for Indigenous and Indigenist research. Journal of Australian Studies, 27(76), 203–214.

McConvell, P., Kelly, P., & Lacrampe, S. (2018). Skin, kin and clan: The dynamics of social categories in Indigenous Australia. ANU Press.

Memmott, P., Chambers, C., Go-Sam , C., & Thomson , L. (2006). Good practice in Indigenous family violence prevention: Designing and evaluating successful programs (Issues paper 11). Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse.

Miedema, S., Fulu, E., Warner, X., Leung, L., & Hardnett, F. (2019). South Tarawa Healthy Living Study: An impact evaluation of the Strengthening Peaceful Villages Violence Prevention Intervention in Kiribati: Baseline report. UN Women and Government of Kiribati.

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Olsen, A., & Lovett, R. (2016). Existing knowledge, practice and responses to violence against women in Australian Indigenous communities: State of knowledge paper. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Our Watch. (2018). Changing the picture: A national resource to support the prevention of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children. Our Watch.

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Rigney, L. (2006). Indigenist research and Aboriginal Australia. In J. Kunnie & N. I. Goduka (Eds.), Indigenous peoples’ wisdom and power: Affirming our knowledge through narratives (pp. 32–50). Ashgate Publishing Limited.

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APPENDIX A:Baseline interview tool

SAFE, RESPECTED, AND FREE FROM VIOLENCE PARTNERSHIP
BOYS CAN GIRLS CAN; OLD WAYS ARE STRONG
PRE INTERVIEW WITH KEY INFORMANTS

Interview ID: ____________

Researcher: ____________

This baseline interview is to be undertaken with project staff. The questions are designed to gain an understanding of the workforce knowledge and capacity prior to engaging with and delivering the project. The baseline interviews are semi-structured to allow the researcher the flexibility to ask follow-up questions.

The baseline interviews will take place in person, will take approximately one hour, and will be conducted by an EQI researcher. The baseline interview participants will be recruited from Tangentyere Council, italks, and Larapinta Child and Family Centre staff. All baseline interviews will be conducted in English. Interviews may be conducted individually or in groups, depending on the preference of the participants. The EQI researcher will read through the participant information sheet and complete the written consent form with the baseline interview participants. Written consent will be gained at the beginning of the baseline interview.

  1. Can you tell me about yourself and the work you do?
  2. In the following questions, I want to ask you about any knowledge or experience you had of these concepts prior to working with the [‘Girls Can Boys Can’/’Old Ways are Strong’] project.
    1. Can you tell me about any knowledge or experience you have of primary prevention? How would you describe “primary prevention”?
    2. Can you tell me about any knowledge or experience you have about gender and gender equality?
    3. Can you tell me about any knowledge or experience you have about working on domestic, family, and sexual violence?
      1. Follow-up question: how do you understand the ‘domestic violence’, ‘family violence’, ‘gender-based violence’, and ‘violence against women’ terminology and concepts?
    4. Can you tell me about any prior experience or knowledge you have about violence and how it is regarded in Aboriginal cultures?
    5. Follow-up in response to 2a, b, c & d: how/where did you gain this knowledge/experience?
  3. Do you think you will gain or learn anything by working on the [‘Girls Can Boys Can’/’Old Ways are Strong’] project? If so, what?
  4. In terms of your own knowledge and professional development, what are some areas that you would like to develop?
  5. Can you tell me about the DFSV primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory?
    1. Suggested prompts: Roughly how many people work on primary prevention in your community? Are there enough people working on this issue of prevention? Do they connect with each other and work together, or do they often work separately? Do you think they feel well supported?
  6. What are some priority areas or what is needed to develop primary prevention workforce capacity development in the Northern Territory?
    1. Suggested prompts: Thinking of the work you and your org do to prevent VAW, what are some of the main challenges you face?

I would like to talk to you again at the end of the [‘Girls Can Boys Can’/’Old Ways are Strong’] project. Would you be happy to take part in a follow-up interview next year? If so, could you please provide some contact details?

Interview ID: ____________

Phone Number: _____________

Email: _____________

APPENDIX B:Endline interview tool

SAFE, RESPECTED, AND FREE FROM VIOLENCE PARTNERSHIP
BOYS CAN GIRLS CAN; OLD WAYS ARE STRONG
POST- INTERVIEW WITH KEY INFORMANTS

Interview ID: ____________

Researcher: ____________

This post-interview is to be undertaken with project staff who took part in the baseline interview phase of the project – although some staff who did not undertake the baseline interview may also be included. The questions are designed to gain an understanding of the workforce knowledge and capacity after engaging with and delivering the project. The endline interview are semi-structured to allow the researcher the flexibility to ask follow-up questions.

The endline interview will take place in person, will take approximately one hour, and will be conducted by an EQI researcher. The post-interview participants will be recruited from Tangentyere Council, italks, and Larapinta Child and Family Centre staff. All endline interview will be conducted in English. Interviews may be conducted individually or in groups, depending on the preference of the participants. The EQI researcher will read through the participant information sheet and complete the written consent form with the post-interview participants. Written consent will be gained at the beginning of the post-interview.

  1. Can you tell me about yourself and the work you do?
  2. In the following questions, I want to ask you about what you have learnt since you’ve been working with the [‘Girls Can Boys Can’/’Old Ways are Strong’] project.
    1. Can you tell me about what you have learnt about primary prevention? How would you describe “primary
    2. Can you tell me what you have learnt about gender and gender equality?
    3. Can you tell me what you have learnt working on domestic, family, and sexual violence?
      1. Follow-up question: Since working with the project, how do you now understand the ‘domestic violence’, ‘family violence’, ‘gender-based violence’, and ‘violence against women’ terminology and concepts?
    4. Can you tell me what you have learnt about violence and how it is regarded in Aboriginal cultures?
  3. Can you tell me about anything else you learnt by working on the [‘Girls Can Boys Can’/’Old Ways are Strong’] project?
  4. In terms of your own knowledge and professional development, what skills do you feel like you’ve developed? Are there any other areas of training you need to further develop your knowledge and skills?
    1. Can you tell me about the DFSV primary prevention workforce in the Northern Territory? What do you now know about the primary prevention workforce?
    2. What do you think needs to happen to grow the sector further?
    3. What training and skills to they need to further develop?
    4. Are there opportunities for people and organisations to work together? What are they?
  5. Do you think the workforce feels well supported? What further supports do they need?
  6. What challenges remain for DFSV primary prevention work in the Northern Territory? What do you think is needed to overcome these challenges?

Thank you again for taking part in this research.

APPENDIX C:Social media survey tool

Tangentyere Social Media Survey
SAFE, RESPECTED, AND FREE FROM VIOLENCE PARTNERSHIP: SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY

This survey is on behalf of the Safe, Respected, and Free from Violence Partnership and a non-governmental research organisation called The Equality Institute, with funding from Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).

We are conducting a survey to learn about what people think about the ‘Girls Can Boys Can’ and the ‘Old Ways are Strong’ projects. We would like to ask you for your views about the resources produced by these projects, and we would like to use this information in a research project. You can complete this survey anonymously and your personal details will not appear in the final report. The objective of this research project is to build evidence and improve primary prevention in the Northern Territory.

There are no right or wrong answers, we would just like to hear your opinions. This survey will take approximately 30 minutes. If you complete the survey, you can go into the running to win ‘Girls Can Boys Can’ merchandise. Each person may only complete ONE survey and enter the competition ONCE. Winners will be informed by email.

1. Do you consent to participate in the study? *

Yes

No (selecting no will mean you cannot participate in the survey)

2. Do you consent to publication of your contribution to the research? Please note, your answers will always remain anonymous (ie: your answers will not be linked to your name or other personal information). *

Yes

No (selecting no will mean you cannot participate in the survey)

Section One: Participant information

We would like to start the survey by asking some questions about yourself. This information will help us to understand your opinions better.

3. What is your gender? (Select all that apply) *

Woman/Female

Man/ Male

Non-binary

Transgender

Prefer not to say

Other – Write In

4. What is your age? *

5. What is your current partner status?
(Select all that apply)*

Single

In a relationship / married (living together)

In a relationship (living apart)

Separated or divorced

Widowed

Prefer not to say

Other – Write In

6. Do you have children?
If yes, please write in how many children you have.*

Yes

No

Prefer not to say

7. Do you live in Australia?*

Yes, I live in Australia

No, I live somewhere other than Australia

8. Which State or Territory do you live in?

The Northern Territory

Queensland

New South Wales

Western Australia

Victoria

South Australia

The Australian Capital Territory

Tasmania

Other – Write In (Required)

9. Do you live in…

A metropolitan area (in a large city)

A regional area

A rural or remote area

Other – Write In

10. Which country do you currently live in?

11. How do you identify? (Select all that apply)*

Aboriginal

Torres Strait Islander

Other First Nations from outside of Australia

Non-Indigenous, ethnic minority in Australia

Non-Indigenous, white Australian

Prefer not to say

Other – Write In

12. What is the highest level of western education you have achieved? *

No education

Started primary school but did not complete

Completed primary school

Started secondary school but did not complete

Completed secondary school

Started university but did not complete

Completed an undergraduate degree

Postgraduate

Prefer not to say

Other – Write In

13. Do you identify as being part of any of these groups? (Select all that apply) *

Person with disabilities

LGBTQI+

Single parent / carer

No / none

Prefer not to say

14. Where did you access this survey?

Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group’s Facebook page

Tangentyere Men’s Family Safety Group’s Facebook page

Tangentyere Family Violence Prevention Program’s Instagram

The Equality Institute’s Facebook page

The Equality Institute’s Instagram

Other – Write In

Section Two: Attitudes and beliefs

This section is about what you think about the roles of men and women, violence, and Aboriginal cultures. In this section, there are a series of statements. You can respond by saying you strongly agree, agree, neither agree or disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement. You can also say if you are unsure.

15. Men and women are equally valued in society. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

I don’t know

Prefer not to say

16. Men and women should have different roles, in the family and in society. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

I don’t know

Prefer not to say

17. It is always unacceptable for men to use violence against women. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

I don’t know

Prefer not to say

18. Men are considered to be superior to women in Aboriginal cultures. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

I don’t know

Prefer not to say

19. It is acceptable to use violence in Aboriginal cultures. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

I don’t know

Prefer not to say

20. Violence against women is permissible in Aboriginal cultures. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

I don’t know

Prefer not to say

Section Three: The resources

This section is going to ask you about the following resources, which will be available on social media. There is no right or wrong answer, this is simply about your opinion. Please look at the four images below before answering the questions that follow.

21. Have you seen this material before? If yes, please write in where you saw the material. *

Yes

No

Unsure

22. What was the key message of the resources? Please note, there are not right or wrong answers. We are interested in what you took away from the material.

23. What do you think about the resources?
(Do you like them? What do you like about them? Do you dislike them? What do you dislike about them? Do you think they are interesting?) *

24. If anything, what did you learn from the resources? *

25. Do you think resources like these are important?
Please write an explanation for your answer in the text box provided. *

Yes

No

Maybe

I don’t know

Refuse to answer

26. Do you think messages like that in the resources you viewed help to prevent violence?

Please use the text box to explain your answer. *

Yes

No

Maybe

I don’t know

Refuse to answer

27. Do you believe that violence against women can be prevented?

Please use the text box to write an explanation of your answer. *

Yes

No

Maybe

I don’t know

Refuse to answer

28. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your answers will be kept confidential.
Please provide your email address here if you would like to go into the running to win Girls CanBoys Can merchandise and/or be contacted again to hear about the research findings:

Yes, I would like to go into the running to win ‘Girls Can Boys Can’ merchandise

Yes, I would like to be contacted again to hear about the research findings

No, thank you.

29. Please enter your email:

APPENDIX D:Animation survey tool

Tangentyere Animation Survey
SAFE, RESPECTED, AND FREE FROM VIOLENCE PARTNERSHIP: ANIMATION SURVEY

This survey is on behalf of the Safe, Respected, and Free from Violence Partnership and a non-governmental research organisation called The Equality Institute, with funding from Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS). We are conducting this survey to learn about what people think about the ’Girls Can Boys Can’ and the ’Old Ways are Strong’ projects.

We would like to ask you for your views about the roles of men and women, violence, and Aboriginal cultures and we will show you a short animation and ask for your thoughts about it. We would like to use this information in an evaluation. The objective of this evaluation is to build evidence and improve primary prevention in the Northern Territory.

There are no right or wrong answers, we would just like to hear your views and opinions. You can complete this survey anonymously and your personal details will not appear in any evaluation reports.

This survey will take approximately 20 minutes. If you complete the survey, you will go into the running to win ’Mums Can, Dads Can’ merchandise. Each person may only complete ONE survey and enter the competition ONCE.  Winners will be informed by email.

1. Do you consent to participate in the study? *

Yes

No (selecting no will mean you cannot participate in the survey)

2. Do you consent to publication of your contribution to the research? Please note, your answers will always remain anonymous (ie: your answers will not be linked to your name or other personal information). *

Yes

No (selecting no will mean you cannot participate in the survey)

Section One: Participant information

We would like to start the survey by asking some questions about yourself. This information will help us to understand your opinions better.

3. What is your gender? (Select all that apply) *

Woman/Female

Man/Male

Non-binary

Transgender

Prefer not to say

Other – Write In

4. What is your age? *

5. What is your current partner status? (Select all that apply) *

Single

In a relationship / married (living together)

In a relationship (living apart)

Separated or divorced

Widowed

Prefer not to say

Other – Write In

6. Do you have children? If yes, please write in how many children you have. *

Yes

No

Prefer not to say

7. Do you live in Australia?*

Yes, I live in Australia

No, I live somewhere other than Australia

8. Which State or Territory do you live in?

The Northern Territory

Queensland

New South Wales

Western Australia

Victoria

South Australia

The Australian Capital Territory

Tasmania

Other – Write In (Required)

9. Do you live in…

A metropolitan area (in a large city)

A regional area

A rural or remote area

Other – Write In

10. Which country do you currently live in?

11. How do you identify? (Select all that apply)*

Aboriginal

Torres Strait Islander

Other First Nations from outside of Australia

Non-Indigenous, ethnic minority in Australia

Non-Indigenous, white Australian

Prefer not to say

Other – Write In

12. What is the highest level of western education you have achieved? *

No education

Started primary school but did not complete

Completed primary school

Started secondary school but did not complete

Completed secondary school

Started university but did not complete

Completed an undergraduate degree

Postgraduate

Prefer not to say

Other – Write In

13. Do you identify as being part of any of these groups? (Select all that apply) *

People with disabilities

LGBTQI+

Single parent / carer

No / none

Prefer not to say

14. How did you access this survey?

CAAMA

ABC Alice Springs

Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group Facebook page

Other – Write In (Required)

Section Two: Attitudes and beliefs

This section is about what you think about the roles of men and women, violence, and Aboriginal cultures. In this section, there are a series of statements. You can respond by saying you strongly agree, agree, neither agree or disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement. You can also say if you are unsure.

15. In Aboriginal cultures, men and women are equally valued in society. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

16. In Aboriginal cultures, men and women should have different roles, in the family and in society. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

17. In Aboriginal cultures, it is never acceptable for men to use violence against women. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

18. Men are considered to be superior to women in Aboriginal cultures. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

19. It is acceptable to use violence in Aboriginal cultures. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

20. Violence against women is acceptable in Aboriginal cultures. *

Strongly agree

Agree

Neither agree or disagree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

Section Three: The animation

Please watch the video with sound on. The video is a collection of different animations. It is approximately 4 minutes long all up. There is a few seconds break between each section of the animation, please watch the animation until the end.

This animation was developed by italk studio in partnership with Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation using a community-driven approach. The stories and practices contained in these animations reflect Central Australian Aboriginal cultures.

21. Have you seen this animation before? If yes, please write in where you saw the animation. *

Yes

No

Unsure

22. Did you enjoy watching this animation?

Yes, I found it very enjoyable

Yes, I found it enjoyable

I found it neither enjoyable or unenjoyable

No, I didn’t enjoy it

No, I didn’t enjoy it all

23. In 25 words or less, what do you think the animation was about? Please note, there are not right or wrong answers. We are interested in what you took away from the animation*

24. What do you think were three key messages of the animation? *

Message 1:

Message 2:

Message 3:

25. Who do you think is main target audience of this animation? i.e.: which groups of people do you think would most benefit from seeing this animation or similar messaging? *

26. If anything, what did you learn from the animation? Please list three things. *

Learning 1:

Learning 2:

Learning 3:

27. What did you understand from the animation about women’s roles in Aboriginal cultures? *

28. What did you understand from the animation about men’s roles in Aboriginal cultures? *

29. What did you understand from the animation about violence against women and how this problem is viewed in Aboriginal cultures? *

30. Do you think animations like this are important?
If answering yes or no, please write in the text box to explain why or why not. *

Yes

No

Maybe

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

31. Do you think the animation you viewed, helps to prevent violence?
If answering yes or no, please write in the text box to explain why or why not. *

Yes

No

Maybe

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

32. Do you think the animation you viewed, can help to prevent violence against women? Please write in the text box to explain your response. *

Yes

No

Maybe

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

33. Do you believe that violence against women can be prevented?

Please write in the text box to explain your answer.

Yes

No

Maybe

Unsure / I don’t know

Prefer not to say

34. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your answers will be kept confidential.
Please provide your email address here if you would like to go into the running to win ‘Mums Can, Dads Can’ merchandise and/or be contacted again to hear about the research findings:

Yes, I would like to go into the running to win ‘Mums Can, Dads Can’ merchandise

Yes, I would like to be contacted again to hear about the research findings

No, thank you.

35. Please enter your email:

APPENDIX E:Baseline and endline survey tool

SAFE, RESPECTED, AND FREE FROM VIOLENCE PARTNERSHIP
POST-SURVEY WITH PROJECT PARTICIPANTS

INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESEARCHERS

MEETING YOUR PARTICIPANT
  1. Ensure the participant meets the inclusion criteria listed on the participant information sheet.
  2. Where possible, female researchers should complete the survey with female participants. However, this can be on a case-by-case basis. If unsure, contact Chay.
  3. Find a safe and private place to conduct the survey. Always ensure you have another team member around and someone knows where you are. Do not complete surveys at night.
  4. It is best to conduct the survey sitting across from participants, rather than sitting beside them.
GETTING CONSENT
  1. Go through the Participant Information Sheet with the participant in a way they can understand – cover all the sections (use the script).
  2. Complete the oral consent form (assign them a code and write this in the Survey ID section – make sure the same code is put on the survey form).
  3. Ask the participant if it’s okay to take notes and advise that you will go over your notes with them at the end of the survey.
COMPLETING THE SURVEY
  1. Complete the survey with the participant – Instructions for you are in [brackets] and the script for you to read aloud to the participant are in CAPITAL LETTERS. The survey questions are numbered and in black. Read out the questions, but do not read out the response options unless the script in CAPITAL LETTERS prompts you to do so.
  2. Listen to their answers and complete the responses according to what they say. Only prompt if the participant does not understand or is unsure.
  3. Do not change the sequence of the questions. Repeat the question if the participant does not understand. You can rephrase or simplify the question, but do not change the meaning.
  4. Remain neutral and responsive throughout the survey – take interest in what the participant says, but do not approve or disapprove of their answers.
  5. Take notes throughout the survey, about the what the participant says, their body language, gestures, or anything else you observe.
  6. If the survey is interrupted or another person walks in the room, stop the survey until the person leaves – you can either start a conversation with the participant or ask random questions until the person leaves.
  7. If the participant becomes upset, ask them if they would like to take a break or stop. If they want to stop, see if they would like to complete the survey at another time. If they withdraw their consent, destroy the survey. Be sure to support the participant by putting them in contact with support services or a trusted person.
WRAPPING UP THE SURVEY AND DATA STORAGE
  1. Summarise your notes to the participant at the end of the survey, be transparent but paraphrase or omit notes that may be distressing for the participant.
  2. Once the survey is complete, thank the participant for their time. Check the area before leaving – make sure nothing is left behind. Then scan the consent form and survey and save in the folder using the link.
  3. If you cannot scan or save the documents, contact Chay and she will collect them.
  4. Once the consent form and survey are securely saved, destroy the originals.
  5. Advise Chay you have completed a survey and debrief.
  6. any child protection, safety or ethical issues to Chay. Follow mandatory reporting laws.
POST-SURVEY WITH PROJECT PARTICIPANTS
  • Instructions for researchers are in [brackets]
  • The script for researchers to read aloud to the participant are in CAPITAL LETTERS
  • Questions are numbered and in black.
  • New additions / changes / questions that are only asked in the POST SURVEY are highlighted
Introduction:
Read through Participant Information sheet and complete consent forms

SURVEY ID #____________

Project:  ‘Girls Can Boys Can’ (Gcbc)  ‘Old Ways are Strong’ (Ows)

HELLO, MY NAME IS _____________________ . I AM HERE ON BEHALF OF [SELECT TANGENTYERE COUNCIL/ITALK/LARAPINTA CHILD AND FAMILY CENTRE] AND A NON-GOVERNMENTAL RESEARCH ORGANISATION CALLED THE EQUALITY INSTITUTE.

WE ARE CONDUCTING A SURVEY TO LEARN ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT THE ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN, VIOLENCE, AND ABORIGINAL CULTURES.

YOU MAY HAVE COMPLETED A SIMILAR SURVEY WITH US LAST YEAR – THIS SURVEY IS TO FOLLOW-UP AND SEE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE [SELECT GCBC/OWS] PROJECTS. THIS SURVEY WILL TAKE APPROXIMATELY 30-40 MINUTES.

ARE YOU HAPPY/WILLING TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS SURVEY?

I HAVE READ THE INFORMATION SHEET DESCRIBING THE SAFE, RESPECTED, AND FREE FROM VIOLENCE STUDY TO YOU. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT AT ANY TIME YOU MAY WITHDRAW FROM THE SURVEY, AS WELL AS WITHDRAW ANY INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVE PROVIDED.

YOU NOTE THAT THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN REVIEWED AND APPROVED BY CAHREC.

Question

Answer Options

1. Do you consent to participate in the study?

Yes

No

2. Do you freely and voluntarily agree to participate as a subject in the research study? Do you consent to publication of the results of the research/the information given to you on the understanding that your anonymity is preserved?

If oral consent obtained, signature of researcher:

Date:

Section One: Participant information

I WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN BY ASKING SOME PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT YOURSELF. THIS INFORMATION WILL HELP US TO UNDERSTAND YOUR OPINIONS BETTER.

Question

Answer Options

3. What is your gender?
[if participants do not understand]
What is your sex? [Select all that apply]

1. Man / Male

2. Woman / Female

3. Transgender

4. Non-binary

5. Prefer not to say

6. Write in: __________

4. What is your age?

[Insert number]

5. Do you have a partner?

1. Single

2. Partnered (living apart)

3. Partnered (living together)

6. Do you have children?

1. Yes – if yes, how many daughters do you have? _________ How many sons?_________

2. No

3. Refuse to answer

7. Do you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander? If so, what is your language group?
[if participants do not understand]
Who are your mob? [Select all that apply]

1. Arrernte

2. Warlpiri

3. Anmatyerre

4. Kaytetye

5.Waramungu

6. Luritja

7. Non-Indigenous

8. Other_______

9. Prefer not to say

8. Where do you live?

1. Town Camp

2. Public/Urban Housing

3. Remote community

4. Alice Springs suburbs

4. Other_______

9. What is the highest level of western education you have achieved?

1. No education

2. Started primary but did not complete

3. Completed primary

4. Started secondary but did not complete

5. Completed secondary

6. Started university but did not complete

7. Completed an undergraduate degree

8. Postgraduate

10. Do you identify as being part of any of these groups?

*Mark all answers that apply

1. I have a disability

2. I am LGBTQ+

4. Single parent/carer

5. No/none

Section Two: Attitudes and beliefs about gender

IN THIS SECTION I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN, HOW MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD BE TREATED AND HOW MEN AND WOMEN ARE TREATED. I WILL ASK YOU ABOUT WHO CARRIES OUT CERTAIN ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN YOUR HOME, AS WELL AS IN GENERAL IN YOUR COMMUNITY. THERE ARE NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS. THIS IS ABOUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL OPINION. YOUR ANSWERS WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER A QUESTION IF YOU DON’T WANT TO. IS IT OKAY IF WE BEGIN THIS SECTION NOW?

[For questions 11-18,

Questions marked A) ask about individual attitudes – what does the participant think about who should be doing this role?

Questions marked B) asks about individual behaviours or the norms in their individual home – in reality, who actually does this role most of the time in their house? You can specify that this who normally or who usually does this role – not who sometimes does it.

Questions marked C) asks about norms in their community – in their community, who usually carries out this role?]

Question

Answer Options

YOU CAN ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS WITH MEN, WOMEN, BOTH, OR YOU CAN SAY IF YOU ARE UNSURE.

11. A) Who do you think should grow up the children in the family?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

11. B) In your home, who does the growing up the children in the family?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

11. C) In your community, who normally does the growing up the children in the family?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

12. A) Who do you think should do the cooking and cleaning?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

12. B) In your home, who does the cooking and cleaning?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

12. C) In your community, who normally does the cooking and cleaning?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

13. A) Who do you think should make the decisions about money?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

13. B) In your home, who makes the decisions about money?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

13. C) In your community, who normally makes the decisions about money?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

14. A) Who do you think should be the head of the family?
[if participant does not understand]
who should be the boss/leader of the family?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

14. B) In your home, who is the head of the family?
[if participant does not understand, use the same wording as 14A]

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

14. C) In your community, who is normally the head of the family?
[if participant does not understand, use the same wording as 14A]

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

15. A) Who do you think should have a job and provide for the family?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

15. B) In your home, who is expected to have a job and provides for the family?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

15. C) In your community, who is normally expected to have a job and provide for the family?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

16. A) Who do you think should do the food shopping?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

16. B) In your home, who does the food shopping?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

16. C) In your community, who normally does the food shopping?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

17. A) Who do you think should take care of sick children or other family members?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

17. B) In your home, who takes care of sick children or other family members?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

17. C) In your community, who normally takes care of sick children or other family members?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

18. A) Who do you think should protect the family and keep them safe?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

18. B) In your home, who protects the family and keeps them safe?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

18. C) In your community, who normally protects the family and keeps them safe?

1. Men

2. Women

3. Both

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

6. Other _________________

YOU CAN ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS WITH YES, NO, MAYBE, OR YOU CAN SAY IF YOU ARE UNSURE.

19. Do you think that people should be treated the same whether they are male or female?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe/sometimes

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

20. Do you think a woman should do what her husband/male partner says?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

21. Do you think a man should have the final say in all family matters?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

22. Do you think men should share the work around the house with women such as doing dishes, cleaning and cooking?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

23. Do you think if a wife is hit or beaten by her husband, it is ok for her to tell other people?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

24. Do you think if a man hits his wife/female partner, other people outside of the couple should intervene?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

25. Do you think there is anything a boy should do that a girl shouldn’t do? Prompt: [only if necessary] play football, be tough

[insert answer]

26. Do you think there is anything a girl should do that a boy shouldn’t do? Prompt: [only if necessary] show feelings, dance, dress up

[insert answer]

27. Do you think there is anything a man should do that a woman shouldn’t do? Prompt: [only if necessary] make decisions, be boss

[insert answer]

28. Do you think there is anything a woman should do that a men shouldn’t do? Prompt: [only if necessary] be gentle, show feelings

[insert answer]

Section Three: Attitudes and beliefs about violence

IN THIS SECTION I WANT TO ASK YOU WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT VIOLENCE AND WHETHER IT’S EVER OKAY TO USE VIOLENCE. THERE ARE NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS. THIS IS ABOUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL OPINION. YOU ALSO DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER A QUESTION IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO AND YOUR ANSWERS WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. IS IT OKAY IF WE START THIS SECTION NOW?

Question

Answer Options

34. Do you think a man has the right to tell his wife/female partner who she can be friends with?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

35. Do you think it is a man’s right to make healthcare decisions for his wife/female partner?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

I WILL PRESENT SOME DIFFERENT SITUATIONS/STORIES, AND YOU CAN SAY WHETHER YOU STRONGLY AGREE, AGREE, STRONGLY DISAGREE, DISAGREE, OR WHETHER YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE.

Do you agree with the following statements:

A man is justified in hitting or beating [if participant does not understand, instead use the phrasing: “It is understandable for a man to hit or beat”] his wife or female partner in the following situations:

36. If she goes out without telling him?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

37. If she doesn’t take care of the children?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

38. If she argues with him?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

39. If she doesn’t do the cooking?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

40. If she does not take care of the house and do the cleaning?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

41. If she spends too much money?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

42. If she spends time talking or texting with other men?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

43. If she looks at other men?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

44. If she wears tight, revealing or attractive clothing?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

45. If she comes home late?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

46. If she refuses to have sex with him?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

47. If he has been drinking?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

48. If she has been drinking?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

49. If she has been humbugging him?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

50. If she refuses to give him money?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

51. THIS FINAL QUESTION ABOUT VIOLENCE IS ABOUT SEXUAL VIOLENCE THAT HAPPENS TO SOME WOMEN.

A) When a woman is raped, do you think a woman is usually to blame?

YOU CAN ANSWER ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, NEVER, OR YOU CAN SAY IF YOU ARE UNSURE.

1. Always

2. Sometimes

3. Never

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

51. B) In your community, when a woman is raped, is she usually blamed?

1. Always

2. Sometimes

3. Never

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

34. Do you think a man has the right to tell his wife/female partner who she can be friends with?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

35. Do you think it is a man’s right to make healthcare decisions for his wife/female partner?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

I WILL PRESENT SOME DIFFERENT SITUATIONS/STORIES, AND YOU CAN SAY WHETHER YOU STRONGLY AGREE, AGREE, STRONGLY DISAGREE, DISAGREE, OR WHETHER YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE.

Do you agree with the following statements:

A man is justified in hitting or beating [if participant does not understand, instead use the phrasing: “It is understandable for a man to hit or beat”] his wife or female partner in the following situations:

36. If she goes out without telling him?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

37. If she doesn’t take care of the children?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

38. If she argues with him?

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6.I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

Section Four: Attitudes and beliefs about Aboriginal culture

IN THIS SECTION I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT ABORIGINAL CULTURE AND WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT THE ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN, AND VIOLENCE. THIS IS ABOUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL OPINION. YOU CAN SAY IF YOU DON’T WANT TO ANSWER A QUESTION.

Question

Answer Options

52. In Aboriginal culture, who is the boss in relationships between men and women?

1. Women

2. Men

3. They are equal / both

4. Unsure

5. Other________

6. Refuse to answer

53. In Aboriginal culture, is it ever okay for men to use violence against women?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Sometimes

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

54. In Aboriginal culture, are women and men valued as much as each other? Would you say yes, maybe or no?

1. Yes

2.No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

55. Do you think Aboriginal communities would respect a man who makes decisions jointly with his wife/female partner?

1. Yes

2. No

3. Maybe

4. I don’t know

5. Refused to answer

56. Do you believe that Aboriginal communities can prevent violence against women? Would you say yes, no, or maybe?

1. Yes

2. No

3. I don’t know/ Unsure

4. Refuse to answer

Section Five: Thoughts about the project

IN THIS SECTION I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE ‘GIRLS CAN BOYS CAN’/’OLD WAYS ARE STRONG’ PROJECT AND WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

[Show participants examples of project materials: i.e. t-shirts and/or posters so they know/understand what project you are referring to]

Question

Answer options

57. What parts of the [GCBC/OWS] projects have you participated in? [select all the apply]

1. Workshop/s [write in how many] __________

2. I have seen resources (posters, t-shirts) [write in where] __________

3. I have seen posts on social media

4. I have seen animations [write in where] __________

5. Other [write in] __________

58. Can you tell me anything about the project? If you can, tell me three main things about the project?

1. [write in]

2.

3.

59. [Show project material: t-shirt or poster]. What do you think this [write in project material here]
__________ means?

[write in]

IN THIS SECTION, I’LL READ SOME STATEMENTS, AND YOU CAN SAY WHETHER YOU STRONGLY AGREE, AGREE, STRONGLY DISAGREE, DISAGREE, OR WHETHER YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE.

60.I learned new things from the project.

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6. I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

61. The project changed my ideas about the roles of men and women.

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6. I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

62. The project changed my ideas about violence.

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6. I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

63. The project changed my ideas about what Aboriginal cultures say about the roles of men and women.

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6. I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

64. The project changed my ideas about what Aboriginal culture says about violence.

1.Strongly agree

2. Agree

3. In the middle

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

6. I don’t know

7. Refused to answer

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COMPLETE THIS SURVEY. YOUR ANSWERS WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. HOW ARE YOU FEELING NOW? HERE IS THE INFORMATION FOR SOME SUPPORT SERVICES. YOU CAN CONTACT THESE SERVICES FOR ASSISTANCE.

APPENDIX F:Additional baseline attitudinal survey tables of results

GENDER ROLES

Table F1: Baseline additional results about gender roles

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

Women
%
(#)

Men
%
(#)

Both
%
(#)

Unsure
%
(#)

No answer
%
(#)

TOTAL
%
(#)

16. Who should do the food shopping?

42

(13)

6

(2)

52

(16)

100

(31)

17. Who should take care of sick children or other family members?

16

(5)

81

(25)

3

(1)

100

(31)

ATTITUDES ON GENDER, GENDER ROLES AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

Table F2: Respondents’ answers to baseline survey questions about gender, gender roles and gender-based violence

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

Yes
%

No
%

Unsure / maybe
%
(#)

No answer
%
(#)

TOTAL a
%
(#)

19. Do you think that people should be treated the same whether they are male or female?

87

(27)

3

(1)

6

(2)

3

(1)

100

(31)

20. Do you think a woman should obey her husband/male partner?

26

(8)

55

(17)

16

(5)

3

(1)

100

(31)

21. Do you think a man should have the final say in all family matters?

32

(10)

55

(17)

13

(4)

0

(0)

100

(31)

22. Do you think men should share the work around the house with women such as doing dishes, cleaning and cooking?

90

(28)

0

(0)

10

(3)

0

(0)

100

(31)

23. Do you think if a wife is hit or beaten by her husband, it is ok for her to tell other people?

90

(28)

6

(2)

3

(1)

0

(0)

100

(31)

24. Do you think if a man hits his wife/female partner, other people outside of the couple should intervene?

87

(27)

10

(3)

3

(1)

0

(0)

100

(31)

a Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

KNOWLEDGE/NORMS

Table F3: Respondents’ answers to baseline questions about violence and social norms

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

Yes %
(#)

No %
(#)

Unsure/maybe %
(#)

No answer %
(#)

TOTAL %
(#)

29. Do you think if a man/husband is violent towards his wife, it will affect their children?

100

(31)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(31)

30. Do you think a woman should put up with violence from her partner to keep her family together?

3

(1)

81

(25)

13

(4)

3

(1)

100

(31)

31. Do you think a woman is allowed to refuse to have sex with her husband?

87

(27)

0

(0)

10

(3)

3

(1)

100

(31)

JUSTIFICATION OF VIOLENCE

Table F4: Respondents’ answers to baseline survey questions about the justification of violence

In your opinion, is a man justified in hitting or beating his wife or female partner in the following situations:

ANSWERS

Strongly agree/agree %
(#)

In the middle
%
(#)

Strongly disagree/disagree
%
(#)

Unsure
%
(#)

No answer
%
(#)

TOTAL a %
(#)

32. If she goes out without telling him?

3

(1)

3

(1)

87

(27)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(31)

33. If she doesn’t take care of the children?

10

(3)

3

(1)

77

(24)

3

(1)

6

(2)

100

(31)

34. If she argues with him?

13

(4)

3

(1)

77

(24)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(31)

35. If she doesn’t do the cooking?

0

(0)

0

(0)

94

(29)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100%

(31)

36. If she does not take care of the house and do the cleaning?

3

(1)

0

(0)

87

(27)

3

(1)

6

(2)

100

(31)

37. If she spends too much money?

10

(3)

6

(2)

68

(21)

10

(3)

6

(2)

100%

(31)

38. If she spends time talking or texting with other men?

19

(6)

13

(4)

61

(19)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(31)

39. If she looks at other men?

6

(2)

10

(3)

71

(22)

6

(2)

6

(2)

100

(31)

40. If she wears tight, revealing or attractive clothing?

10

(3)

13

(4)

71

(22)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(31)

41. If she comes home late?

6

(2)

16

(5)

68

(21)

3

(1)

6

(2)

100

(31)

42. If she refuses to have sex with him?

3

(1)

6

(2)

77

(24)

6

(2)

6

(2)

100

(31)

a Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

VICTIM BLAMING

Table F5: Respondents’ answers to baseline questions about victim blaming

QUESTION

ANSWERS

Always

%

(#)

Sometimes

%

(#)

Never

%

(#)

Unsure

%

(#)

No answer

%

(#)

Total

%

(#)

43. When a woman is raped, do you think a woman is usually to blame?

10

(3)

3

(1)

68

(21)

16

(5)

3

(1)

100

(31)

NORMS AND ABORIGINAL CULTURES

Table F6: Respondents’ answers to baseline questions about social norms and Aboriginal culture

QUESTION

ANSWERS

Men

%

(#)

Women

%

(#)

Both/equal

%

(#)

Unsure

%

(#)

No answer

%

(#)

Total

%

(#)

44. In Aboriginal culture, who is the boss in relationships between men and women?

55

(17)

0

(0)

32

(10)

10

(3)

3

(1)

100

(31)

Table F7: Respondents’ answers to baseline questions about violence and its perception within Aboriginal culture

QUESTION

ANSWERS

Yes

%

(#)

Sometimes %

(#)

No %

(#)

Unsure

%

(#)

No answer %

(#)

Total

%

(#)

45. In Aboriginal culture, is it ever okay for men to use violence against women?

16

(5)

3

(1)

65

(20)

13

(4)

3

(1)

100

(31)

Table F8: Respondents’ answers to baseline questions about gender equality and its perception within Aboriginal culture

QUESTION

ANSWERS

Yes

%

(#)

No

%

(#)

Maybe

%

(#)

Unsure

%

(#)

No answer

%

(#)

Total a

%

(#)

46. In Aboriginal culture, are women and men valued as much as each other?

68

(21)

6

(2)

10

(3)

13

(4)

3

(1)

100

(31)

47. Do you think Aboriginal communities would respect a man who makes decisions jointly with his wife/female partner?

77

(24)

6

(2)

10

(3)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(31)

48. Do you believe that Aboriginal communities can prevent violence against women?

77

(24)

6

(2)

0

(0)

13

(4)

3

(1)

100

(31)

a Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

APPENDIX G:Additional endline survey tables of results

Table G1: Endline additional results about gender roles

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

Women %

(#)

Men %

(#)

Both %

(#)

Other %

(#)

Unsure %

(#)

No answer % (#)

TOTAL %

(#)

16a. Who do you think should do the food shopping?

28

(8)

0

(0)

69

(20)

3

(1)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

16b. In your home, who does the food shopping?

55

(16)

3

(1)

42

(12)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

16c. In your community, who normally does the food shopping?

48

(14)

0

(0)

45

(13)

0

(0)

7

(2)

0

(0)

100

(29)

17c. In your community, who normally takes care of sick children or other family members?

34

(10)

0

(0)

59

(17)

0

(0)

7

(2)

0

(0)

100

(29)

ATTITUDES ON GENDER POWER DYNAMICS

Table G2: Endline attitudes on gender power dynamics

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

Yes %

(#)

No %

(#)

Maybe %

(#)

Unsure %

(#)

No answer %

(#)

TOTAL a %

(#)

19. Do you think that people should be treated the same whether they are male or female?

93

(27)

0

(0)

0

(0)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(29)

20. Do you think a woman should do what her husband/male partner says?

21

(6)

45

(13)

14

(4)

17

(5)

3

(1)

100

(29)

21. Do you think a man should have the final say in all family matters?

21

(6)

69

(20)

10

(3)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

22. Do you think men should share the work around the house with women such as doing dishes, cleaning and cooking?

97

(28)

3

(1)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

a Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

ATTITUDES ON DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

Table G3: Endline attitudes towards domestic and family violence

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

Yes %

(#)

No %

(#)

Maybe %

(#)

Unsure %

(#)

No answer %

(#)

TOTAL a %

(#)

23. Do you think if a wife is hit or beaten by her husband, it is okay for her to tell other people?

90

(26)

7

(2)

0

(0)

3

(1)

0

(0)

100

(29)

24. Do you think if a man hits his wife/female partner, other people outside of the couple should intervene?

69

(20)

28

(8)

3

(1)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

29. Do you think if a man/husband is violent towards his wife, it will affect their children?

100

(29)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

30. Do you think a woman should put up with violence from her partner to keep her family together?

17

(5)

79

(23)

3

(1)

0

(0)

0

(0)

100

(29)

31. Do you think a woman is allowed to refuse to have sex with her husband?

79

(23)

7

(2)

3

(1)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100

(29)

a Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

JUSTIFICATION OF VIOLENCE

Table G4: Endline justification of violence

In your opinion, is a man justified in hitting or beating his wife or female partner in the following situations:

ANSWERS

Strongly agree and agree %

(#)

In the middle % (#)

Strongly disagree and disagree %

(#)

Unsure %

(#)

No answer %

(#)

TOTAL a %

(#)

36. If she goes out without telling him?

7

(2)

3

(1)

79

(23)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100

(29)

37. If she doesn’t take care of the children?

7

(2)

3

(1)

83

(24)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(29)

38. If she argues with him?

7

(2)

0

(0)

83

(24)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100

(29)

39. If she doesn’t do the cooking?

3

(1)

0

(0)

90

(26)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(29)

40. If she does not take care of the house and do the cleaning?

0

(0)

7

(2)

86

(25)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(29)

41. If she spends too much money?

3

(1)

10

(3)

83

(24)

0

(0)

3

(1)

100

(29)

42. If she spends time talking or texting with other men?

10

(3)

3

(1)

69

(20)

10

(3)

7

(2)

100

(29)

43. If she looks at other men?

7

(2)

14

(4)

69

(20)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100%

(29)

44. If she wears tight, revealing or attractive clothing?

10

(3)

7

(2)

72

(21)

3

(1)

7

(2)

100

(29)

45. If she comes home late?

10

(3)

10

(3)

66

(19)

10

(3)

3

(1)

100

(29)

46. If she refuses to have sex with him?

7

(2)

7

(2)

72

(21)

10

(3)

3

(1)

100

(29)

47. If he has been drinking?

14

(4)

3

(1)

76

(22)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(29)

48. If she has been drinking?

7

(2)

3

(1)

79

(23)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100

(29)

49. If she has been humbugging him?

10

(3)

3

(1)

76

(22)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100

(29)

50. If she refuses to give him money?

3

(1)

10

(3)

72

(21)

10

(3)

3

(1)

100

(29)

a Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

VICTIM BLAMING

Table G5: Endline additional table of results about victim blaming

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

Always %

(#)

Sometimes %

(#)

Never %

(#)

Unsure %

(#)

Other %

(#)

No answer %

(#)

TOTALa %

(#)

51. When a woman is raped, do you think a woman is usually to blame?

3

(1)

7

(2)

69

(20)

17

(5)

0

(0)

3

(1)

100

(29)

51. b) In your community, when a woman is raped, is she usually blamed?

10

(3)

38

(11)

31

(9)

14

(4)

3

(1)

3

(1)

100

(29)

a Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

NORMS AND ABORIGINAL CULTURE

Table G6: Endline norms about Aboriginal culture

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

Women %

(#)

Men %

(#)

Both %

(#)

Unsure %

(#)

No answer %

(#)

TOTAL a  %

(#)

52. In Aboriginal culture, who is the boss in relationships between men and women?

0

(0)

41

(12)

38

(11)

17

(5)

3

(1)

100

(29)

a Due to rounding, not all response percentages add up to exactly 100.

QUESTIONS

Yes %

(#)

No %

(#)

Sometimes %

(#)

Unsure %

(#)

No answer %

(#)

TOTAL%

(#)

53. In Aboriginal culture, is it ever okay for men to use violence against women?

7

(2)

69

(20)

3

(1)

10

(3)

10

(3)

100

(29)

QUESTIONS

Yes %

(#)

No %

(#)

Maybe %

(#)

Unsure %

(#)

No answer %

(#)

TOTAL %

(#)

54. In Aboriginal culture, are women and men valued as much as each other?

48

(14)

21

(6)

21

(6)

7

(2)

3

(1)

100

(29)

55. Do you think Aboriginal communities would respect a man who makes decisions jointly with his wife/female partner?

69

(20)

0

(0)

17

(5)

10

(3)

3

(1)

100

(29)

56. Do you believe that Aboriginal communities can prevent violence against women?

83

(24)

0

(0)

0

(0)

14

(4)

3

(1)

100

(29)

APPENDIX H:Additional tables of results from baseline and endline respondents

Table H1: Baseline and endline respondents’ means of participation and level of exposure

Gender

Means of Participation

Pre-survey exposure

Post-survey exposure

Man

TMFSG

Medium

High

Man

TMFSG

Medium

High

Woman

TWFSG

High

High

Woman

TWFSG

High

High

Woman

TWFSG

High

High

Woman

TWFSG

High

High

Woman

TWFSG

High

High

Man

LCFC

None

Very low

Woman

LCFC

None

Medium

Woman

LCFC

None

Low

Woman

LCFC

None

Low

Table H2: Baseline and endline respondents with highest numbers of positive shifts by question number

Gender

Means of exposure

Level of exposure

Number of positive shifts

Questions where positive shift occurred

Woman

TWFSG

High

11

Q18, Q20, Q25, Q26, Q28, Q43, Q44, Q46, Q53, Q54, Q55

Woman

TWFSG

High

11

Q19, Q20, Q21, Q26, Q27, Q28, Q31, Q42, Q51a, Q55, Q56

Man a

TMFSG

High

9

Q14, Q20, Q27, Q28, Q36, Q37, Q41, Q43, Q56

Woman

TWFSG

High

8

Q12, Q16

a One man had a high number of positive and negative shifts.

Table H3: Baseline and endline respondents with highest numbers of negative shifts by question number

Gender

Means of exposure

Level of exposure

Number of negative shifts

Questions where negative shift occurred

Man

TMFSG

High

9

Q14, Q17, Q21, Q24, Q42, Q43, Q46, Q51, Q54

Man a

TMFSG

High

5

Q13, Q26, Q44, Q45, Q51

Woman

TWFSG

High

5

Q15, Q20, Q24, Q54, Q55

a One man had a high number of positive and negative shifts.

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