News and events

Leadership for Prevention Conference

Since our beginnings in 1992, Zero Tolerance has been leading in work to prevent men’s violence against women (VAW). We know the only way to end VAW is to end women’s social, economic and political inequality. Last week, we hosted #LeadtoPrevent. A national conference, aiming to explore the dynamic and varied ways we can challenge and prevent VAW – how we can all show leadership for prevention. The conference aimed to shine a spotlight on what can be done to prevent the unseen violence that affects women and communities that are often ignored, overlooked, or not considered with nuance by policy and practice.

The conference was a huge success, with tickets being totally sold out, with a waitlist of over 40 people. We want to share the learning from the day – firstly by the publishing of our brand-new Primary Prevention briefing, and secondly in a form of a summary of the day and offering access to the presentation and workshop PowerPoints.

Our speakers

We were so lucky to welcome such interesting and thought-provoking speakers from parliament, the women’s sector, and beyond.

Christina McKelvie, MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities spoke powerfully of her own commitment to preventing and ending violence against women and work already underway as part of the Equally Safe national strategy.

Emma Ritch, Engender, outlined the cause and cost of inequality and the concrete changes we have to make to end inequality and therefore violence against women.

Catriona Kirkpatrick, Engender, shared learning from Engender’s recent project on Disabled Women’s reproductive rights called, Our Bodies, Our Rights. A striking and important report outlining violence against disabled women and the barriers that they face when seeking help, and barriers they face in terms of parental rights, sex education, and reproductive, sexual, and maternal health services.

Susie Heywood, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, presented their work on the Gender Friendly Nursery Project – aimed at reducing gender stereotyping in early years settings as part of early intervention and prevention of gender-based violence. You can read about Zero Tolerance’s work on this here.

Eileen Maitland, Rape Crisis Scotland talked about learning from previous prevention campaigns - including the most recent #Ijustfroze, launched March 2017 and sharing their fantastic video campaign Not Ever that ran as adverts on STV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 in 2010.

Amy Johnson, Zero Tolerance explored our new research showing Scottish perceptions of how violence against women is covered in the media including some really interesting findings around the different perceptions of victim blaming between men and women.

Our workshops

Throughout the day we had five excellent workshops covering specific aspects of violence against women including:

  • Leading the Whole School Approach, led by Rape Crisis Scotland and Zero Tolerance, building on shared learnings from the Whole School Approach – exploring whole settings approaches and the role they can play in prevention.
  • Challenging gender stereotyping in the early years, led by Zero Tolerance. Linking gender equality to better outcomes for children and the prevention of violence against women and girls.
  • Involving men in prevention work, led by White Ribbon. Discussing the White Ribbon campaign around the world, and how men can talk to other men in order to prevent violence against women.
  • Preventing sexism and misogyny in Muslim and BME communities, led by Amina. Sharing three video campaigns they had produced (Imams for Change, Hopscotch, #ReclaimtheName) and leading an insightful discussion of the difference between religion and culture, and how their work fits into the wider sector.
  • Intersections of violence against women and violence against LGBT people, led by LGBT Youth Scotland. This workshop explored aspects of LGBT domestic abuse, as well as barriers LGBT people can face accessing services.

Our installation

Attendees at the conference were able to view our recently launched Violence Unseen exhibition. The photographs, made by Alicia Bruce, shine a light on the types of violence against women that still remain unacceptably hidden and better represent the constellation of women’s lived experiences.

Violence Unseen has now gone on tour around the country – for more information about hosting the exhibition or displaying at your event please get in touch with Jo Zawadzka, our Campaigns and Engagement Officer on

Our outcomes

We were very happy with the turnout for the event, with participants attending from a range of sectors. By the end of the day, 100% of people who attended said they had learnt something about prevention, and 93% of people said they felt confident to go back to their organisation and lead prevention work. We’re looking forward to getting in touch with attendees in 3 months’ time for a more in-depth evaluation of what the event has given to them.

Please see sidebar (or below on mobile devices) for slides from presentations and workshops.

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