Launched in April 2019 by the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, the Everybody Matters: Inclusion and Equity Statement (the Statement) is a 10-year commitment that supports Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change. The vision of the Statement is to build an inclusive, safe, responsive and accountable family violence system for all.
Applying an intersectionality framework, the Statement outlines a pathway towards a more inclusive family violence system by investing in systemic change and building our knowledge, capabilities and specialisation to achieve a system that is responsive to all Victorians.
The Statement is a key response to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (Royal Commission) which called for more accessible, inclusive and non-discriminatory service provision, including for people from diverse communities.
The Statement was developed following a comprehensive consultation process undertaken by Family Safety Victoria (FSV). Consultation began in late 2017 and involved people with lived experience of family violence, practitioners, community leaders, government representatives and the Diverse Communities and Intersectionality (DCI) Working Group. The DCI Working Group brings together representatives from the community sector, Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, and government. Through the development of the Statement, we heard directly from people with lived experience and sector stakeholders about what is needed to achieve an inclusive, responsive, safe and accountable system for all, and what success will look like in ten years.
Three successive Inclusion and Equity Blueprints (Blueprints) covering 2019-2022, 2022–2025 and 2025-2029 will provide the framework to implement the Statement.
Inclusion and Equity Blueprints
The actions in the Blueprint have been designed to complement those in the second Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan (RAP) 2020-2023. The RAP is the next step towards finalising the implementation of all 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The RAP focuses on the second phase of key initiatives and actions of the Victorian Government’s 10-year agenda to end family violence.
While the Blueprint focuses predominantly on early intervention and response aspects of the family violence system, it also acknowledges the importance of a commitment to equitable and inclusive engagement of Victoria’s diverse population in primary prevention programs. The Blueprint provides some high-level information about planned primary prevention action with a specific inclusion and equity focus; further detail can be found in the Free from Violence strategy action plans and forthcoming resources from Respect Victoria.
The development of this first Blueprint has been overseen by the DCI Working Group and the Inclusion and Equity Family Violence Cross-Government Working Group – comprising representatives from across government who are responsible for implementing recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The Blueprints are not static – they will be agile and evolve to reflect the changing nature of the family violence reform environment. This will allow that the Blueprints remain relevant and responsive to emerging needs and evidence, including feedback from people from diverse communities, in particular those with lived experience of family violence. All actions listed in this Blueprint are Victorian Government funded initiatives at the time of publication.
The Blueprint is also a mechanism to enable government to invest in and closely monitor the effectiveness of the range of family violence supports and responses for diverse communities to ensure the sustainability of intended outcomes.
Dhelk Dja Three-Year Action Plan
The actions listed in the Blueprint complement the first Dhelk Dja Three-Year Action Plan 2019-2022 which outlines strategic actions and investments over the next three years to bring the vision of Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way - Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families to life. The Dhelk Dja vision is for a future where Aboriginal people are culturally stronger, safer and self-determining, with families and communities living free from family violence (Appendix one). To avoid duplication of activities, initiatives that are listed in the Dhelk Dja Action Plan have not been listed in the Blueprint unless they are working with more than one diverse community group.
Wherever possible, inclusive language has been used throughout this Blueprint. Inclusive language consists of terms free from prejudice, discrimination and stereotyped views of individuals or groups of individuals. Inclusive language provides a sense of recognition, belonging and common identity. It allows people to be listened to and treated with dignity, feel welcome and able to approach services. Above all, inclusive language is respectful and promotes acceptance of and values all individuals. Definitions of the inclusive language used in this Blueprint are included at Appendix three.