The Equality Institute, Tangentyere Family Violence Prevention Program, Larapinta Child and Family Centre, italk Studio, Alice Springs Town Campers and ANROWS
"Rante-rante ampe Marle and Urreye! (Safe, Respected and Free from Violence)” Projects EvaluationAccess / Download
The Girls Can Boys Can projects engage families, communities and children in gender-equitable early childhood resource and message development.
The Old Ways are Strong project develops community-driven media resources to combat colonial narratives that violence is a part of traditional Aboriginal cultures.
Both projects were co-designed with Alice Springs Town Campers, and aimed to increase positive representations of Aboriginal children and families.
The evaluation included an assessment of the impact of the project on participants’ attitudes and beliefs about gender, violence and Aboriginal culture.
It also assessed the extent to which resources and media developed by the two projects effectively communicate key anti-violence, anti-racist and gender-equitable messaging to their audience. In doing so, we found that of the two projects, Girls Can, Boys Can in particular had some success in shifting peoples ideas about gender roles.
This study was funded by the ANROWS Research Fund to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.
The study used a participatory, mixed method approach, in which staff from the partnership projects were recruited and trained by EQI to conduct the quantitative data collection.
Surveys of Aboriginal Town Campers were conducted, who took part in an attitudinal survey at the start of the project, and again a year later.
We then used this information to see if the two projects: Girls Can Boys Can and Old Ways are Strong had any impact on people’s thoughts and beliefs.
We also looked at the anti-violence, gender-equitable and anti-racist messaging and resources produced by the two projects to see if people understood them by surveying social media users and animation audience members.
We found that whilst people had quite gender equitable views about this from the beginning, among the cohort who undertook both baseline and end line survey, 90% of respondents demonstrated at least one positive shift in relation to questions about what girls/women and boys/men can/can't and should/shouldn't do. We think this reflects the very explicit messaging of the Girls Can Boys Can project.
These projects are an example of primary prevention, which aims to prevent violence before it begins, by dismantling the attitudes and beliefs that drivelead to violent behaviouce against women.
Aboriginal women in the NT are among the most victimised group of people in the world, and are hospitalised for assault at 40 times the rate of non-Indigenous women in Australia.
All of this information helps us to understand what works to prevent violence against women in the Northern Territory and builds evidence about good practice when working with Aboriginal people to prevent violence.
This study is the first ever evaluation of a primary prevention project in the Northern Territory, and is one of the few that has a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The study also addressed a significant gap in the evidence-base. A baseline of participants’ attitudes and beliefs about gender, violence and Aboriginal culture has not been undertaken with Aboriginal communities in Central Australia before.
The research findings will be directed at improving the two projects, as for primary prevention and the domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV) sector in the Northern Territory and primary prevention with Aboriginal people. It also advises on areas for further research.
Tangentyere Council’s ‘Boys Can Girls Can’ campaign aims to save women’s lives; ABC Alice Springs
Brown, Chay; Campbell, Shirleen & Simpson, Carmel (2021) Safe, respected and free from violence: preventing violence against women in the Northern Territory; The Conversation
Sisters in Law LIVE : 17 – 11 – 2021; Sisters in Law – CAWLS podcast, 8CCC Radio
NITV News (Thursday the 11th of November; Time: 6:57 – 8:27)