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A future free from family violence

A man reads to a young girl.

…It is actually about finding ways to stop the violence happening in the first place, so that when we look back on this time we think, 'This is the moment where we made a difference.'

— Community conversations

The Plan for Change outlines our vision of a future where all Victorians live free from family violence.

This will be a society based on gender equality, where everyone is treated with respect and shares equal opportunities.

We worked with Victorians to create this vision through community conversations held across the state. We wanted everyone to contribute to its design, from victim survivors to sector representatives, services providers and the wider community.

Victoria is ready for, and committed to, this change.

Community conversations

We held a series of community conversations to build a shared understanding about how Victoria will better support and address family violence into the future.

Victorians shared how they think an improved system should work, how together we can form and support safe and healthy relationships and create a society driven by respect.

In September 2016, at 6 different locations across Victoria, more than 600 Victorians took part in the family violence conversation in their communities.

Watch the family violence community conversations video:

For the transcript, read: Community conversations video transcript

Our vision

We are working to create a Victoria where:

  • women and men, girls and boys, are treated equally with respect and dignity
  • all parts of the community are engaged in practical and creative ways to learn about respectful, safe and equitable relationships
  • women and children are resourced, supported and empowered to make decisions regarding their safety and wellbeing
  • all Victorians feel safe and empowered to take a stand against family violence.

Victorians want a family violence system that keeps women and children safe. It will focus on preventing the violence before it starts by challenging attitudes in our society about women and men, girls and boys. The new system will take a renewed focus on perpetrators, who will be held to account for their actions.

No longer will victim survivors carry the burden of securing their safety.

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Our next steps

The Victorian Government will announce an investment plan in March 2017 to implement our reforms and deliver on the actions  outlined in this Plan. This will be in addition to the $572 million announced in April 2016, which was designed to deliver on the most urgent recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The package will be based on a new approach to investing in, preventing and responding to family violence. It will provide funding certainty for service providers that will allow them to move away from short-term investments in crisis responses. This will involve new models of funding that are:

  • flexible
  • equitable
  • responsive
  • person-centred
  • based on evaluation of programs.

Rolling Action Plans

Our Rolling Action Plans will provide updates on the actions and initiatives for achieving our shared vision of a Victoria free from family violence.

The first plan will be released in March 2017.

Subsequent plans will be developed every 3 years and will reflect new knowledge and evidence. The plans will show how we are tracking against our outcomes.

 

Driving reform through the Council of Australian Governments

All Governments need to work together to implement many of the Royal Commission’s recommendations and to achieve a community free from violence. Victoria will be at the forefront of this drive for change and will seek greater collaboration at the national level, including:

  • changes to the family law system so that state and federal courts work together to share information and protect victims
  • a new Medicare item for family violence counselling
  • paid family violence leave in the National Employment Standards
  • protection for migrant victims of family violence under Australian law
  • extending funding agreements on Homelessness and legal services – giving under pressure services the certainty that they deserve.