Victoria’s peak social advocacy body has welcomed the Victorian Government‘s 10-year Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change as a momentous step toward achieving genuine systemic change and one day eradicating family violence.
VCOSS CEO Emma King says the plan, which envisions a future where all Victorians are safe from the scourge of family violence, is a profound moment for our state.
“The plan sets out the vision for a Victoria where family violence and gender inequality are not tolerated. It seeks to address root causes of family violence—such as gender inequality and rigid gender roles—and exacerbating factors like mental health and substance abuse,” Ms King said.
“It is essential everyone feels safe to report family violence and has access to meaningful support. And it’s just as critical perpetrators are held accountable – with interventions and support services in place to confront poor attitudes and behaviours before re-offending occurs.”
Ms King said VCOSS is pleased the plan is deliberately inclusive of all ages, cultures, faiths, sexualities and genders.
“Family violence does not discriminate. We know women with disability, Aboriginal women, older women and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are vulnerable to family violence. They also experience complex barriers to seeking help, which our system can do more to address.”
She said the community sector and violence survivors have been instrumental in helping to design the plan.
“No-one knows better the change that is needed than those who have experienced the physical, mental and emotional trauma of family violence. We are grateful for their strong involvement.”
Ms King said the plan recognises that the approach to ending family violence must be one of partnership between the sector, community and government.
“Improving service responsiveness, integration and accessibility cannot be achieved by only one organisation. Underpinning the attitude of rights and respect for everyone cannot be achieved by just one individual,” she said.
VCOSS has worked closely with its member organisations and the Victorian Government following the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively to turn this plan into action.