Tackling family violence and gender inequality Family Violence

Tackling family violence and gender inequality

Family violence devastates families and communities across Australia. One in six Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence and one in three have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous partner since the age of 15.1 Family violence causes serious social, economic and health consequences for women, their children, and the broader community.
Family violence is gendered in nature, overwhelmingly being perpetrated by men against women.2 Gender inequality and a belief in rigid gender roles are key determinants of violence against women, along with attitudes, behaviours, practices and systems that justify, excuse, trivialise or downplay violence against women.
The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) welcomes the opportunity to provide this submission to the Federal Parliament’s Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality. In this submission VCOSS uses the term family violence, rather than domestic violence. This reflects our understanding that family violence is a broader term, encompassing violence between family members, as well as violence between intimate partners, and is particularly relevant in the context of Aboriginal women and children.