Our work to end family violence

Your family, whatever form it takes, should make you feel safe, loved, supported and respected. Sadly, this is not always the case.

Sometimes, people use violence in their closest relationships. When they do this, they take away their family’s sense of safety. Fear may replace love. Control may replace support. Ridicule may replace respect.

Most often, it is men who choose to use this violence against women and children [1]. However, partners of any gender can use violence. Parents, siblings and children can use violence. Chosen, kinship and other family members can also use violence.

The impacts of this violence are often devastating. They may be physical, emotional, psychological, financial, social, educational and developmental [2]. These impacts can be felt across the community and from one generation to the next, creating cycles of violence.

This is why, in 2015, the Victorian Government established Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence (the Royal Commission). The Royal Commission heard directly from the community to find out what we need to do to prevent family violence, improve support for victim survivors and hold those who use violence to account.

In response to the Royal Commission, we developed a bold and ambitious 10-year plan for change, called Ending family violence: Victoria's 10-year plan for change. Through this plan, we have implemented every single one of the Royal Commission’s 227 recommendations. The plan is backed with more than $3.86 billion of investment.

We are now at a crucial stage of our reform journey.

The next phase of our work must get us closer to delivering on the intent of the Royal Commission. Together with you, the Victorian community, we want to achieve a future where all Victorians are safe, thriving and living free from family and sexual violence and abuse.

Our message to victim survivors is clear:

We see you. We hear you. We believe you.

We acknowledge the profound effects this violence has on you.

We will take action to stop this violence. And we will support you to be safe and recover.

About this document

This document is for you, the Victorian community.

It tells you what we have done so far - the strong foundation we will build on. It also talks about the things we still need to do – the unfinished business.

Our work during the next three years will focus on five key priorities:

  • drive down family and sexual violence
  • focus on children and young people
  • strengthen support for victim survivors
  • respond to change
  • understand and demonstrate our impact.

As we do this work, we remain committed to Aboriginal self-determination. We will continue to put lived experience at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to address Victorians’ diverse needs and the barriers they may face to seeking help.

What we need next is concrete actions, timeframes and a clear understanding of who is responsible for what. We will work closely with the people who prevent and respond to family violence across our state to develop these.

These actions will be set out in the third and final Rolling Action Plan 2024-2026 under the 10-year plan, which will be released in mid-2024.

It is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to stop family violence in Victoria.

Every Victorian has a role to play. We invite you to join us in this important mission.

This document will guide us in the journey.

References

[1] Our Watch 2019, Men in focus: summary of evidence in review, accessed 7 June 2023.

[2] AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2019, Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019, cat. no. FDV 3, Canberra.

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