Who is leading the change
Department of Premier and Cabinet
The Victorian Government ensure that family violence community awareness and prevention programs and activities use language, imagery and messaging that reflect the diversity of the Victorian community. Prevention work should be developed in consultation with relevant communities and be evaluated in order to refine future practice. Inclusiveness of diversity should also be an important consideration for corporate and philanthropic funders of such programs and activities.
Free from violence: Victoria's strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women is a priority component of 'Ending Family Violence: Victoria's Plan for Change (10 Year Plan)'. The strategy, launched May 2017, was developed through a co-design process with a diverse range of experts and professionals in the fields of family violence and prevention; as well as a number of advisory bodies reflecting the diversity of the Victorian community. The strategy includes priorities to work more closely with diverse communities in Victoria.
The Victorian Government is committed to implementing prevention activities with an intersectional lens at all stages of the process, including in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of prevention activities.
The Victorian Government continues to support prevention projects that target, engage and support specific Victorian cohorts including:
- Aboriginal communities – the Aboriginal Family Violence Primary Prevention Innovation Fund supports Aboriginal organisations to design and deliver community-specific prevention programs, with a total of 13 Aboriginal organisations funded across the state. Aboriginal-led organisations delivering these initiatives have reported strong community engagement and felt empowered testing primary prevention approaches that work for their communities
- Aboriginal communities – in July 2018, the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence and the Special Minister of State opened a new Preventing the Cycle of Violence Aboriginal Fund which provides $2.7 million over 2 years to Aboriginal organisations and community groups to run family violence primary prevention and early intervention projects. The 2018/19 State Budget committed an additional $5.8m over 4 years to deliver Aboriginal-led family violence prevention and early intervention initiatives
- Older people – the Victorian Government has supported the establishment and extension of 10 elder abuse prevention networks to raise awareness and prevent elder abuse in local communities. The network model will be evaluated. Action research is also being undertaken to increase the evidence base about what works in the primary prevention of intimate partner violence against older women
- Multicultural communities – the Safer and Stronger Communities Pilot aims to address the attitudes and behaviours that cause family violence in multicultural communities and test what works to prevent it in the multicultural context. The government is also investing in a new pilot engaging men in the primary prevention of family violence in faith settings; and in primary prevention initiatives with a focus on working with and supporting African communities. Another key investment is the Capacity Building and Participation Family Violence Stream Grants (over 2 years, 2018-2020) which aims to build the capacity of multicultural and faith-based organisations through partnerships with family violence experts to deliver safe, family violence prevention activities across communities
- Women with disabilities – the Family Violence Industry Plan allocated $1.48 million over 4 years from 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 for Women with Disabilities Victoria to deliver the Workforce Program on Gender and Disability. This 4-year workforce program is generating evidence on the gendered and disability drivers of violence against women with disabilities. Initial analysis of program results by the Office for Women demonstrates participants from the disability and social services have improved understanding, confidence and skills in working to prevent violence against women and to address gender equality in their work and within their organisations
Our Watch was funded in 2017-18 to deliver on the first year of a 4-year project that is focused on increasing primary prevention knowledge and capacity and building relationships between the primary prevention sector (including Our Watch) and 3 key communities: LGBTIQ, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and the sector working with older people. This project forms part of the Victorian Government’s Family Violence Industry Plan commitment to immediate workforce training and capacity building across sectors, including practice leadership in primary prevention of family violence and other forms of violence against women.
To capture and respond to the needs of Aboriginal people, the Victorian Government has established the following engagement mechanism: The Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum. It is a partnership of Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal services and the government to drive work under the Aboriginal 10-year family violence agreement: Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families.
Family Safety Victoria (FSV) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have also put in place a number of mechanisms to hear and respond to the needs of diverse communities, including the establishment at FSV of a dedicated FSV Inclusion and Engagement branch, Victim Survivors' Advisory Council, and Diverse Communities and Intersectionality Working Group. At DHHS, the Elder Abuse and Safeguarding Advisory Group has been established.
Dedicated initiatives that specifically engage with diverse communities during their development and delivery include the mass media family violence behaviour change campaign, Respect Women: Call It Out. The campaign was launched on 29 March 2018 and followed approximately 16 months of consultation with a diverse range of key stakeholders, committees and organisations including the Ministerial Taskforce on the Prevention of Family Violence and other forms of Violence Against Women, Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, VicHealth, FSV, Whole of Victorian Government Family Violence Communications Working Group, the Behavioural Insights Team / Behaviour Insights Unit (in the Department of Premier and Cabinet), Our Watch, Safe Steps, Men’s Referral Service (No To Violence) and public focus groups. Representing a broad range of cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, socioeconomic strata, sexual orientations and ages, these peak working groups were central to the development of the behaviour change campaign. The campaign aired 3 times during 2017-18 and 2018-19. To inform future campaigns, consultations have continued with members of the LGBTI community and LGBTI frontline agencies, members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and senior Victorians from a broad range of cultural backgrounds.
Diversity is a key consideration of the Family Violence Philanthropy Collaboration Project (FVPCP), which is led by Domestic Violence Victoria and brings together representatives from the family violence, philanthropic and government sectors to support the implementation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations. The FVPCP has identified a range of family violence sector capacity building projects for philanthropic investment.
Broadening the scope of Recommendation 142 beyond prevention to ensure that the whole family violence system reflects Victoria’s diversity, the Everybody Matters: Inclusion and Equity Statement sets out the Victorian Government’s vision for creating a family violence system that is more inclusive, responsive and accessible to all Victorians. The 10-year commitment strives to build a more equitable system that effectively supports all Victorians without discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age or ability.
This recommendation is implemented.