Improving how we prevent and respond to family violence is not enough. We need to be confident our approach is working and understand why it is working. This is so we can be sure that our actions improve peoples’ lives and lead to the outcomes we are working towards.
Strengthen how we measure impact
The information we collect, and how we analyse it, shapes our understanding of how change is happening. We need to know we are asking the right questions at the right time to be able to evaluate our progress.
Family violence, sexual violence and violence against women are complex social problems. We must build our knowledge of how the community understands and thinks about these forms of violence. This includes the underlying attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that support it. Changing these attitudes, beliefs and behaviours will take time. We need to know the short and medium-term milestones that will tell us we are moving in the right direction.
Government, peak organisations, data custodians and service providers each have a role to play in building strong, reliable data and evidence in Victoria. Organisations that work to prevent and respond to family and sexual violence play a key role. They gather and share information about the effect their work has. They need to be equipped to collect, analyse and use this data. We need to strengthen their capacity to provide this information in a way that adds value to their work. Importantly, we do not want to create an additional administrative burden.
We will also focus on improving how we collect and use data about the intersecting factors that increase the risk of violence and barriers to seeking help.
Linking this data in better ways will help us see the full picture. It will help us identify what is working and what is not. It will allow us to regularly analyse the journeys of victim survivors, including children and young people, as well as people who use violence, through the service system.
Increase opportunities for Victorians to help us improve the system
People who have experienced family and sexual violence know best whether our system is giving them the support that they need. We will continue to welcome and seek out the expertise of victim survivors at every level of our work – from designing policies and programs through to delivering them and evaluating their impact.
We will strengthen our engagement with people who use violence to learn more about the interventions that have the best chance to change their behaviour.
We know that both the risks and effects of family violence can differ greatly across our society, so we will continue to work with Victorians from diverse backgrounds and identities when we design our programs and monitor their success.
We also recognise that a core aspect of Aboriginal self-determination is for Aboriginal communities to control how information about Aboriginal people is collected, analysed and used. Data and evidence for Aboriginal people must be culturally informed and meaningfully used to develop local solutions. We will continue to work closely with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to ensure that Aboriginal ownership and control over these processes is in line with Indigenous Data Sovereignty Principles.