In the lead up to the Violence Prevention - It's Everybody's Business conference on October 7 to 9, the Bendigo Advertiser is profiling the conference ambassadors.
LINDA Beilharz says violence against women often stems from a key belief: the belief a man is entitled to control what his partner does.
The Women's Health Loddon Mallee executive officer said violence wasn't limited to physical and sexual acts, but included limiting a woman's financial independence and freedom.
"If you have a sense of entitlement around the household you don't necessarily realise you have it," she said.
She said leaders across the community could play an important role in changing negative attitudes towards women.
"Community groups set the codes of conduct that influence how we interact," she said.
"Just the way we indicate respect and inclusiveness has a big impact."
Ms Beilharz is encouraging all community leaders to sign up to the Violence Prevention - It's Everybody's Business conference, taking place in October.
The conference features a range of high-profile speakers, including Victorian police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, prominent author and activist Phil Cleary and White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies, to name a few.
Ms Beilharz said the conference would include discussions about how church, sport and not-for-profit groups could help tackle violence in society.
She said one example of an organisation making headway on changing sexist attitudes was the AFL, which had been doing a lot of work to include women in its organisation.
She said men and women who worked side-by-side in the workplace were less likely to experience violence in their home lives, as they were used to - and expected - gender equality.
She said while the Bendigo police did a fantastic job in dealing with domestic violence, it should be considered a whole-of-society issue.
"The police respond to it when it happens but it needs to be up to the community to stop it," she said.
To register for the conference, call 02-8204-0770 or email email@example.com