Victim survivors are safe and supported
I need you to hear me and believe my story.
— Victim survivor
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.
We are working on the following to keep victim survivors, vulnerable children and families safe and supported.
- Early intervention: embedding early intervention in all aspects of our family violence and social services systems.
- Specialist family violence services: building capacity to better connect victim survivors to universal and specialist services.
- Support and Safety Hubs: developing a network of Hubs to make it easier for victim survivors to access help.
- Keeping children safe: designing our system to keep children safe.
- Providing safe and stable housing.
- Supporting long-term recovery: assisting with employment, financial security, legal assistance, educational opportunities and supports for mental health needs.
- Victim-focused justice: building a system focused on victim survivor safety, from Victoria Police to the courts.
Recognising and responding to early warning signs is essential to prevention. It can also stop family violence from escalating to a crisis situation.
Early intervention means identifying people who are at risk of experiencing or perpetrating family violence and connecting them with the right support the first time.
For more, read: Early intervention
Specialist family violence services
Specialist family violence workers understand the escalating risks of family violence and how to plan for the safety of victim survivors. They also have a unique understanding of the services women and children require.
Their response in a time of crisis is essential.
However, they are currently overwhelmed by demand, which is limiting the response they can provide to victim survivors.
For more, read: Specialist family violence services
Support and Safety Hubs
A network of Support and Safety Hubs across Victoria will provide people with easy and early access to the assistance they need.
No matter where people live, they will have access to a physical Hub.
These hubs will be contact points for victim survivors, family, friends and the community to access highly-skilled professionals, who will work with them to understand their risks and needs.
For more, read: Support and Safety Hubs
Keeping children safe
Children are deeply-affected by family violence, no matter what form it takes. To stop the inter-generational impacts of family violence, we need to focus on prevention.
Until then, we are working to make sure children are seen and heard in the family violence system.
For more, read: Keeping children safe
Safe and stable housing
Without safe, affordable and appropriate housing, victim survivors have to choose between returning to an abusive relationship or becoming homeless.
Our first priority will be to keep women and their children in their homes and to remove the perpetrator. Where this is not possible, we are working to provide immediate access to suitable housing.
For more, read: Safe and stable housing
Without the stability and security of employment opportunities and financial independence, victim survivors can experience poverty and difficulty finding long-term housing.
This is particularly true for some groups dependent on their perpetrator for physical care, social inclusion or language requirements.
Our reformed system will be centred on the long-term recovery of victim survivors.
For more, read: Supporting recovery
Victim survivors told us their experience with the justice system was intimidating, alienating and confusing. They have the burden of navigating the system and their experience is characterised by anxiety, humiliation and frustration.
Our reforms will deliver a justice system that supports, empowers and protects vulnerable women and children. This will involve making changes to:
- the legal framework that supports vulnerable women and children and holds perpetrators accountable
- the work of police, courts, legal assistance services and corrections.
For more, read: Victim-centred justice