5 steps for violence prevention

The consequences of men's violence against women, in terms of human suffering and social costs, are enormous. Each year, men's violence against women in Sweden costs SEK 43 billion. Can anything be done about this? Yes, if only we help each other. We present a five-step strategic approach for you and your organisation to help prevent violence.


We present a five-step strategic approach for you and your organisation to help prevent violence. The guide is a short summary of our handbook Inget att vänta på. The steps will not always be followed in the order they are presented, but they are a good basis for the work.

Restrictive gender norms contribute to men’s violence

Both globally and nationally, men account for the majority of all violence, but this does not mean that men are inherently more violent, or that all men commit violence. It does mean that harmful ideas about power and masculinity that excuse violence can be changed. 

Early prevention of violence is a prerequisite for achieving gender equality and ending men's violence against women. There is nothing to wait for.

Masculinity is about characteristics and behaviours that are associated with or considered appropriate for men. Some notions of masculinity impose restrictions on the lives of both men and women. For example, men should not show emotions except aggression; they are supposed to be strong and dominant. Often, these ideas are based on the importance of being the opposite of what is considered feminine. Such ideas are sometimes called destructive norms of masculinity. By broadening norms and ideas about gender, learned behaviours that are harmful to oneself, and others can be changed and counteracted.

5 steps for violence prevention

In practice, violence prevention work may involve a different order, with several steps being worked on simultaneously, and it may be necessary to move back and forth between the different steps.

Step 1. Initiate collaboration

In step one, you identify strategic partners and areas of activity, and ensure that the mandate and resources are in place to carry out the work. What are your conditions, and how can violence prevention work be integrated into ongoing processes and other areas of prevention?

Step 2. Describe violence as a problem

In the second step, you describe the problems that exist and that you seek to influence. Collect information about all forms of violence that is carried out in your surroundings. Based on this survey, focus on the violence you can counteract. What forms of violence is being practiced in your surroundings that you believe is possible to change?

Step 3. Identifying factors for change

The third step is to identify what risks you can reduce and what protective factors you can strengthen for the violence you want to prevent, and to identify the factors you can influence through your interventions.

Step 4. Develop interventions

In step four, you will concretise your violence-prevention work and develop your interventions.

Step 5. Implement, follow up and disseminate

In the fifth and final step, you implement the work, follow up on its progress and spread your knowledge and experience. The final step means creating long-term sustainability for violence prevention work.

Early prevention of violence is a prerequisite for achieving gender equality. There is nothing to wait for:

Three levels of prevention

Violence prevention work

Publication date: 2 January 2023

Last updated: 13 June 2024