Domain 3: Perpetrators

Perpetrators are held accountable, connected and take responsibility for stopping their violence

Domain 3: Perpetrators

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Since 2016, the Victorian Government has increased its focus on those who commit family violence and holding perpetrators to account. It is vital that family violence responses support victim survivors, while also working with perpetrators to reduce risk, support behaviour and attitude change, and stop their use of violence.

Every time a perpetrator interacts with the service system, there is an opportunity to effect behaviour change. If interventions are targeted to the right perpetrators at the right time, it can avoid significant costs to the lives of victim survivors, to the community and to government.

Accurate identification of the perpetrator of family violence is a critical component of risk assessment and risk management. The Misidentification of the Predominant Aggressor Program of Work was developed to address recommendations from the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor’s report Accurate identification of the predominant aggressor.

This included a trial aimed to reduce police misidentification of the predominant aggressor. The trial concluded in December 2022 and learnings are being progressed by Victoria Police in consultation with key stakeholders (The Orange Door, Magistrates’ Courts Victoria) to help inform policy, practice guidance and IT changes in the broader program of work. This work is integral to keeping victim survivors safe and perpetrators accountable. Victoria is leading the way in terms of system, practice, and culture change, but there is still much work to do.

Our outcomes

  1. Perpetrators are held accountable, connected and take responsibility for stopping their violence.
  2. Perpetrators stop all forms of family violence behaviour.
  3. Perpetrators are held accountable for their behaviour.
  4. Perpetrators have safe and healthy connections and relationships.

Strengthening our data

The measures for this domain are limited and do not yet provide insights into perpetrators taking responsibility for changing their actions and behaviours, or the appropriateness of service responses.

This is exacerbated at the national level, where differences in measures and legal terms between jurisdictions make it difficult to build an accurate picture nationally.

Data disaggregation is limited and there is a need to build our understanding of people who use violence from across all communities, including the LGBTIQA+ community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Work is under way to measure client outcomes for perpetrators who participate in interventions, including perpetrator accommodation support services and behaviour change programs.

Data in this report

Data for the ‘Perpetrators’ domain of the outcomes framework comes from Victoria Police Law Enforcement Assistance Program data provided by the Crime Statistics Agency. There remain significant data gaps across the outcomes of Domain 3 that we will work to address over time.