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Family violence is not tolerated

A young boy reads with his grandmother.

No one should tolerate this. I believe this is a community issue and we should focus on education and prevention.

– Victim survivor

Family violence is preventable. 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.

To prevent family violence from happening in the first place, we are delivering the following initiatives.

  • Victoria’s first Gender Equality Strategy: a 10-year plan to address the social foundations of gender inequality.
  • A primary prevention strategy: reinforcing the message that family violence is unacceptable under any circumstance.
  • A prevention agency: strengthening the focus on family violence across the system.
  • Respectful Relationships: teaching current and future generations about building healthy relationships.
  • Workplace Equality and Respect Project:  promoting awareness of family violence and gender inequality in workplaces across the state.

Victoria’s first Gender Equality Strategy

Research shows gender inequality is the key driver of violence against women. We must challenge the negative attitudes that create and maintain gender inequality and discrimination to prevent family violence.

This 10-year strategy will be released in December 2016 to address the social foundations of gender inequality across our society, including in our:

  • workplaces
  • schools
  • sporting clubs
  • early childhood and care services
  • media
  • public spaces, both physical and online.

To learn more about this strategy, read: Gender equality: Have your say

Primary prevention strategy

The primary prevention strategy outlines how we will work with Victorians to reinforce the message that family violence is not acceptable under any circumstance.

It raises awareness and drives a change in attitudes in public spaces such as schools, workplaces and sporting clubs. It also provides guidance at every stage of a Victorian’s life, including:

  • supporting new parents to help them adjust to their new roles
  • working with children and young people to understand and encourage a culture of human rights, gender equality and respectful relationships
  • encouraging the community to treat older family members with dignity and respect.

The strategy also builds on evidence to better understand how to prevent family violence into the future.

The strategy was released in May 2017.

Behaviour change campaign

We are building on the awareness generated by previous campaigns – Australia Says No, The Line and Stop it at the start – to create an understanding of gender inequality as a key driver of family violence.

Future campaigns will be informed by the work of the primary prevention strategy and will help to change Victoria's attitudes and behaviours over time.

Prevention agency

A prevention agency will provide a strengthened focus on prevention across family violence. It will:

  • provide advice to government on achieving legislated prevention outcomes
  • provide advice on the use of family violence prevention funds
  • commission research into prevention methods and activities
  • monitor and report to Parliament on family violence prevention efforts against legislated outcomes
  • fund, coordinate and support local prevention alliances.

Respectful Relationships

This generation of Victorian children and young people can expect to learn about how to build safe and respectful relationships with their families, friends and communities.

The new Victorian Curriculum, which began in 2017, strengthens the role of Respectful Relationships education in schools. This will be supported by a suite of teaching resources recently released by the University of Melbourne. These resources cover 8 social emotional learning topics, including:

  • help-seeking
  • decision-making
  • positive gender relationships.

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Workplace Equality and Respect Project

The Victorian Workplace Equality and Respect Project will deliver programs in workplaces on gender equality, respect and the prevention of violence against women.

The project will reach over 2,000 employees across multiple sectors, workplaces and geographical locations in Victoria, including:

  • industry groups
  • peak bodies
  • employees’ families and communities.

We have also funded Our Watch to develop tools and resources to help achieve more equal and violence-free workplaces.

The standards and tools will be available more widely in 2017.