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Transforming our approach

A mother and her son play with a dandelion.

Victim survivors told us the family violence system feels like a tangled mess. They found it impossible to navigate and easy to get lost in. They said the system contains so many barriers and dead-ends that it can be difficult to find help at all.

Victim survivors told us:

  • services are fragmented
  • they had to tell their stories over and over
  • there are rules no one explains to them or their families
  • the system is blind to the needs of children and young people
  • victim survivors feel like they are in the spotlight and the perpetrator is on the periphery
  • the system and its processes seem to take priority over the person, with the courts and police in the centre.

Priority areas

Victim survivors told us they want a Victoria free from family violence and a system that provides a clear pathway to safety and recovery. We are working to achieve this vision under 4 priority areas.

  1. Family violence and gender inequality are not tolerated.
  2. Victim survivors, including vulnerable children and families, are safe and supported to recover and thrive.
  3. Perpetrators are held to account, engaged and connected.
  4. Preventing and responding to family violence is systemic and enduring.

We are aligning our reforms across all services and systems. Through initiatives delivered under these priority areas, Victoria's systems will work together like they never have before.

We are also working in partnership with Aboriginal communities to support their work to address family violence.

Family violence and gender inequality are not tolerated

We know that preventing family violence is possible. It will take focus and commitment over many years – it can take a generation to change the attitudes and behaviours that cause it.

These changes will challenge the economic, political and social systems that support the attitudes and behaviours driving family violence.

For more, read: Family violence and gender inequality are not tolerated

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Victim survivors, including children, are safe and supported to recover and thrive

The current system does not make it easy for victim survivors and families to know what support is available or how to get help. The places they go to for help don’t always know how to identify family violence or where to refer people for support.

In the current system, victim survivors bear the responsibility of navigating a complicated system to find help.

Instead, we need to create a family violence system that puts victim survivor safety at its centre.

For more, read: Victim survivors are safe and supported to recover

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Perpetrators are held to account, engaged and connected

We understand there isn’t just one type of person perpetrating family violence. Our system must provide more targeted and tailored responses to perpetrators, while focusing on the risk of harm to victim survivors.

To transform our approach, we need to define clear roles and responsibilities across the system and hold a coordinated focus on the perpetrator.

For more, read: Perpetrators are held to account

Preventing and responding to family violence is unified, systemic and enduring

Our response to family violence in the past has been fragmented and piecemeal. Victim survivors still have to manage risk themselves, while perpetrators aren't effectively engaged with the system.

Transforming our approach will mean creating a unified response across the system.

For more, read: A unified and enduring response

Supporting Aboriginal Victorians

Our family violence reforms will build on our commitment to embed the right to Aboriginal self-determination.

These reforms will build on the work of the Indigenous Family Violence 10 Year Plan, Strong Culture, Strong Peoples and Strong Families: Towards a safer future for Indigenous families and communities.

For more, read: Supporting Aboriginal Victorians