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Victoria's response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence
Victoria’s response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence
Posted 18/04/2016 by Helen Portillo-Castro
The Victorian Government last week announced a significant funding package of $572 million in
response to recommendations made in the report by the state’s Royal Commission into Family
Violence tabled on 29 March 2016.
The package, to be implemented over two years, provides funding for implementation of 65 of
the Royal Commission’s 227 recommendations. The Victorian Premier has indicated the package
is a ‘down payment’ and that ‘a 10-year plan for action on the royal commission’s
recommendations and indeed beyond’ will be released before the end of this year.
The largest segments of the initial funding will be directed towards:
ï· family violence refuges, crisis accommodation, social housing and housing support services
to prevent victims becoming homeless as a result of fleeing violence in the family home
ï· expanding support programs for children and pursuing reform of the child protection system
ï· crisis support and counselling to meet demand for specialist family violence services
ï· influencing community attitudes about preventing violence through rolling out the Respectful
Relationships program in primary and secondary schools and developing a gender equality
strategy ($61.6 million)
ï· working with Indigenous communities and expanding special programs for Indigenous
women ($25.7 million)
ï· reform of the legal system through, for example, expanding legal services for victims and
men’s behaviour change programs ($23.9 million).
$82.3 million out of the package will set in place systemic improvements recommended by the
Royal Commission, namely to:
ï· create an information sharing regime among specialist service providers, law enforcement
and the justice system ($32.5 million)
ï· fund domestic violence advocate positions to assist victims in navigating the system
ï· establish an independent monitor and a coordinating agency to see the Royal Commission’s
recommendations are implemented with appropriate stakeholder engagement ($15.4 million)
ï· enhance development of the family violence workforce through capacity building and
development of the Family Violence Index ($10.4 million)
ï· establish 17 state-wide support and safety hubs by July 2018 ($5 million).
Early responses from stakeholder groups welcomed the announcement. Family violence and
homelessness campaigners, along with specialist service providers, applauded the speed of the
Government’s response in implementing the recommendations. Domestic Violence Victoria
stated that the Victorian Government had set ‘a benchmark for the level of investment that is
needed across Australia to end violence against women and children’.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) recognises that a whole-of-government and
community response is required to achieve a reduction in violence against women in Australia
and has endorsed the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-
2022. The National Plan is to be implemented through a series of four threeâyear Action Plans
over 12 years.
The Victorian Royal Commission’s findings comprise one of several inputs that will inform the
Third Action Plan which is expected to be released in mid-2016. This Third Plan ‘will set out
Australia’s policy priorities, actions and direction to help reduce violence against women and
their children for the next three years.’ It will also incorporate recommendations from the
Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children final report to COAG,
presented on 1 April 2016.
The Advisory Panel examined several factors across jurisdictions that need to be considered in
funding an integrated approach to reducing the national incidence of domestic violence. It
All Commonwealth, state and territory governments should examine current funding
arrangements aimed at reducing violence against women and their children.
ï· ensure funding for supporting women and their children, and for perpetrator
programmes, is adequate and responsive to changes in demand for services
ï· support the delivery of sustainable and effective services through the introduction of
ï· increase current funding for trialling, sharing and expanding new and innovative
responses to violence against women and their children
ï· ensure funding for services that address violence against women and their children
can be clearly differentiated from other areas of expenditure
ï· introduce contracting approaches that encourage collaboration and integration across
The Australian Government adopted all recommendations in the Advisory Panel’s preliminary
advice in July 2015. A $100 million package launched in September 2015 increased funding to
frontline services, technological innovation and education initiatives around promoting safety in
the family home and access to services. A further $30 million campaign to influence young
peoples’ attitudes to domestic violence and gender inequality, jointly funded with states and
territories, is to be released in coming months according to a submission by the Department of
Social Services to the current federal Senate inquiry into domestic violence and gender inequality.
For further background on the topic of violence against women and children and its place on the
national policy agenda, see the following Parliamentary Library publications:
ï· Domestic violence : issues and policy challenges
ï· Domestic violence in Australia: a quick guide to the issues
ï· Domestic, family and sexual violence in Australia: an overview of the issues.
If you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault or family violence, visit ANROWS Get
Support website or call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), the 24 hour, National Sexual Assault,
Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line.
Tags: domestic violence