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Resource an initiative to oversee activities for family violence prevention


Who is leading the change

  • Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Victorian Government resource an initiative (either inside or outside government) to:

  • oversee prevention of family violence activities in Victoria
  • provide policy and technical advice to policy makers—including government—on primary prevention
  • provide to organisations technical advice and expertise on building primary prevention in their organisations and within communities
  • coordinate research that builds evidence around the primary prevention of all forms of family violence
  • ensure that accredited workforce development training in primary prevention is available through registered training organisations

This Victorian initiative should be undertaken in close collaboration with Our Watch, ANROWS (Australia’s National Organisation for Women’s Safety) and other relevant bodies.

  • On 4 October 2018 Respect Victoria was established through legislation as a statutory authority, fulfilling Recommendation 188 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence - Victoria’s first agency dedicated to primary prevention.

    In March 2019, Respect Victoria launched its first Strategic Plan 2019-2022, which sets out the strategy to drive evidence-informed primary prevention across Victoria and to establish a systemic approach to the prevention of family violence and violence against women.

    Respect Victoria delivered its first Annual Report for 2018-19, tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 11 September 2019 by Gabrielle Williams MP. This outlines much of the work undertaken in its first short year of operation across a range of priorities including behaviour change, stakeholder engagement and research, monitoring and evaluation.

    Respect Victoria has delivered 3 behaviour change campaigns designed at changing the social norms and attitudes that allow all forms of family violence and violence against women to occur — Respect Women: Call It Out (Café), Respect Women: Call It Out (Public Transport) and Respect Older People: Call It Out.

    Consumer research undertaken in 2018 indicated that those who had seen one of the campaigns had more positive attitudes towards gender equality, the police, and the government’s response to family violence and violence against women. People who had seen the campaign were also more likely to endorse the importance of respect and the impact that family violence and violence against women has, both on individual households and society.

    Respect Victoria is committed to an evidence-informed approach to the primary prevention of all forms of family violence and violence against women. This is achieved by engaging with leading expert academics, service providers and practitioners to deliver rigorous, innovative and relevant research, monitoring and evaluation projects. These projects significantly contribute to building a robust evidence base on ‘what works’ to shift the social norms, practices and structures that drive violence in our community. Respect Victoria also undertakes research projects in-house and supports monitoring and evaluation efforts across government.

    Respect Victoria’s new programs of research cover a broad spectrum of empirical, action-based, implementation and translational projects. Active interdisciplinary collaborations ensure projects are closely aligned with the contemporary primary prevention policy and practice landscape in Victoria. This includes an innovative project working in collaboration with the Crime Statistics Agency to develop a set of primary prevention data indicators to monitor Victoria’s progress towards the prevention of family violence and violence against women - the Family Violence Data Platform.

    Other components of Respect Victoria’s research program focus on building evidence using projects grounded in action research methodology. This includes working with Drummond Street Services to design, implement and evaluate primary prevention initiatives in LGBTIQ family violence, as well as working with the National Ageing Research Institute to explore ‘what works’ to prevent intergenerational family violence against older people.

    Respect Victoria will continue to work with key stakeholders to challenge the harmful social norms, practices and structures that lead to violence to create a Victoria free from all forms of family violence and violence against women.

  • On 29 March 2018, the second anniversary of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Victorian Government announced its intention to launch Respect Victoria as an independent statutory authority dedicated to preventing all forms of family violence.

    Funding for Respect Victoria’s establishment was provided in the 2017/18 State Budget. Additional funding for key agency functions, including behavioural change activities and research, was provided in the 2018/19 State Budget.

    Respect Victoria was launched on 1 August 2018 as an administrative business unit of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), with Chief Executive Officer Tracey Gaudry and an Advisory Board headed by Chair Melanie Eagle, whilst legislation was being considered. This included the on-boarding of 10 staff seconded from DHHS for a 6-month period to establish operations and commence critical primary prevention activities.

    The Prevention of Family Violence Act 2018 (Vic) enshrines in law the roles and functions of Respect Victoria and establishes it as a statutory authority. It was developed and agreed with government, following significant stakeholder consultation. The Bill passed the Upper House with one minor amendment on 23 August 2018.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 17 May 2020

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