Developing a systemic approach to family violence is undoubtedly a difficult task and Gender Equity Victoria (GEN
VIC) welcomes the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor’s report, released earlier this week.
In response to the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence, the report aimed to assess how effective the
Victorian Government and its agencies have been in implementing the Family Violence Reform. Tabled in parliament
by independent statutory officer, Tim Cartwright APM, the report provides a timely reminder of the essential work
that must continue across the state in order to work towards GEN VIC’s vision of equality, wellbeing and freedom
from violence for every women and girl in Victoria.
As the Victorian peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women, GEN
VIC recognises that the Victorian Government’s family violence reform is an enormous undertaking. GEN VIC
commends the work that has been completed so far and recognises the considerable work to go to alleviate violence
for women and children.
This work is particularly in relation to the primary prevention of violence against women.
“What needs to be emphasised from this report is that long lasting and prevention infrastructure to be placed front
and centre of any further reform”, said Kit McMahon, Chair of GEN VIC.
“The report aptly notes that an overarching accountable body, with a whole-of-prevention purview, would improve
the likelihood that the government’s prevention work is effective and integrated into systemic reforms. Crucially, a
well-coordinated approach would need to recognise the vast amount of work that is currently being done by
women’s health services across the state. We need to recognise regional partners as leaders in the prevention of
violence against women.”
Across the state, initiatives need to align with a strong evidence base for the prevention of violence and should
include attention to Safe and Strong, Victoria’s Gender Equality Strategy, which sets out a framework for enduring
and sustained action over time.
“We know that family violence is a gendered phenomenon and in order to address the drivers of violence against
women we must address gender inequity. Addressing inequity requires us to be resourced for long-term
preventative work; work that is collaborative, intersectional, drawing on, and building, our evidence base for what
works” said McMahon.
GEN VIC also notes that the skill shortages mentioned in relation to response are also present for the prevention
workforce and projects such as GEN VIC’s capacity building project, remain crucial for retaining and growing the
prevention of violence workforce across the state.