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Diversity and Intersectionality Framework

Diversity and Intersectionality Framework Diversity and Intersectionality FrameworkPDF (212.4 KB)

Vision

Our Family Violence and Social Services reforms will be designed for diversity and intersectionality at the outset in order to reduce the risk, occurrence and impact of family violence for all Victorians. This means prevention initiatives, services and justice responses will be accessible, inclusive, non-discriminatory and responsive to diverse groups.

These groups include: Aboriginal*communities; cultural, linguistic and faith communities; people with a disability; people experiencing mental health issues; older people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) people; women in or exiting prison/forensic institutions; people who work in the sex industry; people living in regional, remote and rural communities; male victims; and adolescents and young people.

Diversity

The Victorian population is growing, and with it the myriad ways people express identity and belonging.

Family violence is not intrinsic to any culture or community; however, due to individual and structural power imbalances like discrimination and stigma, these groups are at greater risk of experiencing family violence and sexual assault and of being repeat victims. They also face greater barriers to reporting violence and accessing services.

Furthermore, many people do not feel part of a community, and this social isolation exacerbates the risk and impact of family violence.

Combined, these diverse groups make up a majority of Victoria. This means that policies, systems, services and workforces designed for diversity and inclusion are designed for everyone. Yet much of the existing system has been created in a way that privileges some groups while marginalising others.

The system must be re-designed from the ground up with marginalised groups at the heart of the transformation. Only then can equitable outcomes be achieved.

Intersectionality

Social norms around gender mean that women are most at risk of family violence, while most perpetrators are men. In diverse communities, this risk is multiplied by intersecting social and institutional disadvantages.

‘Intersectionality’ refers to the ways in which different aspects of a person’s identity can expose them to overlapping forms of discrimination and marginalisation. These aspects can include gender, ethnicity and cultural background, language, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, geographic location or visa status. This amplifies barriers to services, increases the risk of social isolation, and exacerbates social and economic disadvantage, including housing insecurity.

Many factors will shape how people from diverse groups experience family violence. These include the impact of colonisation; discrimination, misunderstanding and ignorance (including trauma associated with migration or pre-migration experiences); institutional or interpersonal prejudice, including racism or faith-based prejudice; homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and intersex discrimination; distrust or fear of mainstream services, police and child protection; ineligibility for, or invisibility to, specialist or mainstream services; social isolation or exclusion; economic disadvantage; educational disengagement; prolonged experiences of discrimination and disempowerment; childhood trauma and trauma associated with past experiences of family violence or sexual assault.

Principles

Accessible

Services are welcoming, physically accessible, age, gender and sexuality friendly, culturally sensitive and responsive, support communication and language needs, and are tailored to each individual.

Grounded in respect and a regard for human rights

Services are driven by a human rights based and empathic approach. Aboriginal Victorians are respected as First Peoples.

Inclusive and non-discriminatory

Attitudes, behaviours, policies and systems enable full and equal participation. Workforces reflect the diversity of the community and are equipped with the tools and service capacity to respond to diversity.

Empowering

Services empower individuals as active participants in planning and decision making processes. This occurs at an individual level, and an organisational level through involvement and visibility in governance and the workforce.

Responsive

Programs, services and funding models are flexible and responsive to diversity, including strengths-based and family-inclusive approaches.

Built on community and cross-sector partnerships

Community and cross-sector partnerships are used to integrate specialist and mainstream services, harness strengths and expertise, promote multiple service entry points and respond to individual needs.

Focussed on prevention

Prevention strategies reflect diversity and are tailored to respond to diverse and intersectional experiences of family violence. Strategies should strengthen community capacity to build and maintain healthy and respectful relationships.

Responsive to experiences through robust evaluation

Services are reflective and use ongoing monitoring, user feedback and evaluation to measure and improve responsiveness to diversity at all levels of the organisation.