The Royal Commission into Family Violence acknowledged significant gaps in the family violence evidence base, including how systems and services that prevent and respond to family violence are working. Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s plan for change outlined government’s commitment to developing a robust evidence base to inform decision making.
The Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020–23 strengthened that commitment to research on family violence and sexual violence and harm, through development of a Victorian family violence research agenda and research program.
- The Victorian family violence research agenda articulates government’s research priorities and is intended to inform strategic decision making and reform delivery.
- The research program will detail how government will work with Victorian universities, the sector and industry to deliver research under this agenda.
Collectively the research agenda and program will support the whole of government approach to research on family violence and sexual violence and harm, across primary prevention, early intervention and crisis and recovery responses. It will also complement monitoring and evaluation, outcomes measurement and monitoring and data development activities underway across government, as detailed in the Rolling Action Plan.
A strong and effective family violence evidence base is key to delivering long-term, sustainable reform of our family violence system. It tells us what is working, what needs to be adjusted, and where to focus our efforts for the greatest effect.
Articulating our research priorities
The Victorian family violence reform is unique in its ambition, to bring together family violence and sexual violence and harm prevention, early intervention and response through a cross-system reform agenda. This is complex because it relies on multiple systems, including justice and police, family violence and community services, health, child protection, housing and education – all working together to deliver services and supports. The family violence reform also intersects with other key social policy reforms in children and families, justice, housing, and those arising from the findings of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
This cross-system reform approach provides an opportunity for research to influence change on a broad scale. The Victorian family violence research agenda supports government, universities and the sector to maximise this opportunity, by articulating the Victorian government’s family violence and sexual violence and harm research priorities.
The research agenda provides a focus point for research, whether it be commissioned by government, or initiated by universities, the sector or industry. Research delivered under this research agenda will contribute to the broader research and evaluation program, articulated in the 2020-23 Rolling Action Plan, and help shape future reform directions by building evidence to underpin the development of future Rolling Action Plans.
The research agenda was developed through consultation across the Victorian government and builds on the significant engagement undertaken on the 2020-23 Rolling Action Plan. It also draws from key reviews and recommendations, including from the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor, engagement with representatives from sector peak bodies and organisations, and government’s ongoing discussions with key stakeholders on reform implementation. The primary prevention research priority is based on consultations from 2020 led by Respect Victoria. Further consultation will be undertaken as part of development of the research program.