Quick Exit

For urgent assistance call Triple Zero 000 or for confidential support and information call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188

Free from violence

Victoria's strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women

Free from violence fulfils Recommendation 187 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. It is a key priority of the government’s 10-year plan to reform the family violence system under Ending family violence: Victoria’s plan for change.

The Prevention of Family Violence Bill 2018 (the Bill) was introduced to the Victorian parliament on 20 June 2018. The Bill will establish Respect Victoria – an organisation dedicated to preventing all forms of family violence – as a Statutory Authority. Establishing Respect Victoria as a Statutory Authority will fulfil Recommendation 188 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The Strategy

The focus of this strategy is on preventing two overlapping and related forms of violence:

  • family violence
  • violence against women

The scope of this strategy is primary prevention – preventing violence before it starts by focusing on settings where inequality and violent behaviour are shaped. An effective primary prevention approach reduces pressure on other parts of the system responding to family violence and violence against women, including early intervention and crisis response.

The First action plan 2018-2021 of Free from violence details the actions the Victorian Government will take towards ending family violence and fear of violence for good. These actions establish the key structures needed to support long-term change in the prevention of family violence.

Free from violence - Victoria's prevention strategy.pdf Free from violence - Victoria's prevention strategyPDF (9.58 MB) Free from violence - Victoria's prevention strategy.doc Free from violence - Victoria's prevention strategyDOC (304 KB) Free from violence: First action plan 2018-2021 Free from violence: First action plan 2018-2021PDF (4.83 MB) Free from violence: First action plan 2018-2021 Free from violence: First action plan 2018-2021DOC (81.05 KB)

Stopping it before it starts

Family violence and violence against women are driven by gender inequality and other forms of discrimination. Stopping violence before it starts requires the whole community to drive social and cultural change. Everyone has a role to in play in challenging the drivers of violence where they live, work, learn and play.

Education of the public re [sic] violence and statements relating to violence needs to be addressed. Statements such as “it’s the alcohol that does it”, “she provoked me”, “she knows how to push my buttons” are not acceptable… Media needs to show it’s not right to denigrate any person.

[Anonymous submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence]

An effective primary prevention approach will support and complement early intervention and crisis response efforts by reducing pressure on these other parts of the system.

The time for change is now

Violence is unacceptable and inexcusable, yet family violence and violence against women are prevalent across Victoria.

Of women over the age of 15:

  

  • 1 in 3 has experienced physical violence
  • 1 in 4 has experienced physical or sexual violence
  • 1 in 5 has experienced sexual violence

While there is no comprehensive data on all people who experience violence, the following Australia-wide statistics prove the urgent need for change:

  • every 2 minutes family violence results in a police call-out
  • 95% of male and female victims report a male perpetrator
  • on average at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner
  • women are 5 times more likely than men to require hospitalisation due to family violence

Some groups of women are disproportionately affected, including those with a disability and Aboriginal women.

Far-reaching impacts

The impacts of family violence can include:

  • deteriorated physical and mental health
  • loss of housing
  • loss or limited access to employment
  • precarious financial security
  • isolation and alienation of extended family/social support
  • negative impact on development of children who witness it
  • death

In addition to these personal impacts, there are substantial social and economic costs. Estimates suggest that the annual cost of family violence in Victoria in 2014-15 was approximately $3.1 billion.

What can you do?

Everyone has a role to play in preventing family violence and all forms of violence against women. Watch and share Free from violence.

Free from violence - references and resources.pdf Free from violence - references and resourcesPDF (521.95 KB) Free from violence - references and resources Free from violence - references and resourcesDOC (113.5 KB)

Back to top