Our Key Areas

Influencing National Policy on Violence against Women

AWAVA provides leadership and advocacy at the national levels in relation to all aspects of violence against women and girls. We provide expert policy advice as well as carrying out monitoring of policies, legislation, programs and practices which impact on women and children experiencing gender-based violence. We do this by:

  • Contributing to policy development, consulting with our members and their networks, and conveying and amplifying their views within policy debates and processes
  • Researching, bringing together and sharing knowledge about violence prevention and response initiatives
  • Resourcing and capacity-building in the women’s services sector and in the community more generally, to promote the social and policy changes that will help to end violence against women.

AWAVA transfers specialised knowledge from the preventing and responding to violence sector and highlights the experiences of women in situations of multiple disadvantage including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
  • Women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Migrant women
  • Refugee women
  • Women with disability
  • Women in rural and isolated areas
  • Older women
  • Younger women
  • Women in financial hardship or poverty
  • LGBTIQ+ people
  • Women in the sex industry
  • Women in prisons


AWAVA provides representatives for national reference groups and other advisory mechanisms for a range of government and non-government bodies. We represent the interests of women and children who experience gender-based violence. We recognise the diversity of women’s experiences and the need for comprehensive policy that addresses the root causes of violence and service responses that meet the needs of all women and children who experience violence.


Focus Areas

In the period 2017-2021 AWAVA is focused on the following areas of work:

  1. Strategic engagement and representation (including the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children)
  2. Access to justice and accountability
  3. Effective responses to improve women’s safety and recovery (including specialist women’s services)
  4. Primary prevention and institutional change; and
  5. International engagement

AWAVA also supports the work of key institutions established under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children including: