Australians are being told that gender inequality is the root cause of domestic violence. But is it?

Special report: As Australia moves towards a world-first national strategy to tackle attacks in the home, some experts say the approach is badly flawed, with too much emphasis placed on sexism and not enough on alcohol, poverty and other causes

If 2015 seemed like a year-long consciousness-raising exercise on domestic violence, a communal confronting of a once-ugly secret, this will be the year we find out whether we will seriously do something about it.

The funding of refuges, the role of the police and courts, the holding to account those who terrorise their partners at home – all these things are under scrutiny across the the country. There is unprecedented momentum, goodwill and hope.

Yet there remains a tension, barely spoken about publicly in Australia, about something fundamental: why is domestic and family violence happening in the first place? What causes it?

The tension is far from theoretical. What is the best approach if we want to, not just respond to violence after it happens, but prevent it before it starts? And if we want to prevent intimate partner violence in particular, how much hard evidence is there about what works and what does not?

Read the full article here.

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