Safe and Equal responds to the Victorian Government’s acquittal of the Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations

Safe and Equal responds to the Victorian Government’s acquittal of the Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations

Saturday 28 January 2023

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As the Victorian Government today announced the acquittal of all recommendations from 2016’s Royal Commission into Family Violence, we reflect on the landmark achievements and progress made in the past seven years and set our sights forward on the continued commitment and investment required to realise the Royal Commission’s vision: a Victoria free from family violence.

Since the Royal Commission published its 227 recommendations in March 2016, we have seen unprecedented investment into Victoria’s family violence system.  

Based on a robust and comprehensive evidence base, the Royal Commission’s findings and recommendations cemented Victoria as a world leader in the prioritisation of eliminating family and gender-based violence. It provided the Victorian government, specialist family violence sector and the broader community a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change the way we respond to family violence and improve the safety and wellbeing of all victim survivors. 

Now, nearly seven years on, we have seen great progress on several significant reforms, with the foundations in place for a whole-of-system response to family violence in our state. 

“The Royal Commission into Family Violence signalled a monumental shift in the way we approach family violence in Victoria, and we commend the government for committing to all the recommendations and its overarching vision,” said Safe and Equal CEO Tania Farha. 

“But our work isn’t done. As we celebrate these important achievements, we must continue to stay the course for change and maintain our focus – which is to eliminate family violence completely.” 

Significant achievements from the Royal Commission include the establishment of the MARAM Framework as a consistent and comprehensive risk assessment across the system; the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme; the creation of the Support and Safety Hubs in the form of the Orange Door Network; and the establishment of the Dhelk Dja: Safe our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families 10-year plan.  

Additionally, the Royal Commission provided the opportunity for people with lived experience to share their stories, shining visibility on the voices of victim survivors and advocates and centering their expertise in system design and reform.  

“The Royal Commission would never have been established without the tireless efforts of people with lived experience and those who support them – including the advocacy of Rosie Batty, and the CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria at the time, Fiona McCormack,” said Ms Farha. 

“The voices of lived experience are much more visible and continue to inform system improvements today, which is in large part due to the efforts of those who so bravely spoke out during the Royal Commission.”  

In celebrating these achievements, we can see the impact government investment and prioritisation can have on improving Victoria’s family violence system, across the continuum from prevention through to response and recovery.  

We can also see that more remains to be done, particularly to address the prevention of violence and the recovery of victim survivors. To fulfill the vision of the commission ongoing, we need to focus on an accessible, sustainable and seamless service system that can respond to all levels of demand and need,  increased access and availability to safe and affordable housing, and an increased investment in addressing the deeply ingrained attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that allow violence against women to thrive. 

“We know family and gender-based violence is entirely preventable,” said Ms Farha. 

“It’s a huge task, one that takes renewed commitment and the ongoing, coordinated action of all parts of our community and all levels of government. But it is possible.” 

As we reflect on and acknowledge the significant impact of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, Safe and Equal look forward to continuing to work in partnership with government, specialist services and those with lived experience to increase systems integration and inclusion, and to provide a coordinated response that meets the needs of all victim survivors and holds perpetrators to account. 

Page last updated Saturday, January 28 2023


With the Safe and Equal monthly bulletin

Midsumma Carnival 2023

Midsumma Carnival 2023

Thursday 19 February 2023

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Safe and Equal and Elizabeth Morgan House are excited to partner for this year’s Midsumma Carnival, working together to raise awareness and increase safety and support for all people who may be experiencing family violence. 

We’re co-hosting a culturally safe and affirming space at Carnival, where people can relax, yarn and learn more about inclusive family violence support services for LGBTIQA+ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  

What is family violence?

Family violence is when your partner, ex, carer, family member or someone you’re in a ‘family-like’ relationship with uses threatening, controlling or violent behaviour that makes you scared for your safety and wellbeing. 

Family violence experienced by LGBTIQA+ people can include a range of verbal, emotional, psychological, financial, physical, and sexual abuse, intimidation and threats. People use a wide range of abusive behaviours to maintain power and control in relationships. No matter what form it takes, family violence is never acceptable. 

Family violence occurs in all communities

Everybody deserves to feel safe and respected at home and in their relationships. However in Australia, LGBTIQA+ people are reported to experience family violence at similar, if not greater rates than those in heterosexual relationships. 

Because of biphobia, homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism and heteronormativity, there are different risks and barriers that may stop LGBTIQA+ couples, parents and young people from accessing support for family violence. Learn more about family violence tactics and barriers to support for LGBTIQA+ communities here.  

This Midsumma Carnival and beyond, we can make a difference by recognising and celebrating LGBTIQA+ people, relationships and families. We all deserve to feel safe at home.  

LGBTIQA+ people have a right to safety from family violence

If you’re a LGBTIQA+ person experiencing family violence, you are not alone. You can access support from these services:

Switchboard – QLIFE
Phone counselling for the LGBTIQA+ community between 3 pm to midnight every night.
1800 184 527

Victoria Police LGBTI Liaison Officers
LGBTI Liaison Officers (also known as GLLOs) are located at police stations throughout the state. They have been provided with extra training to support members of the LGBTIQA+ community.
Call 03 9247 6944 to find out your closest LGBTI Liaison Officer.

Suicide Call Back Service
24-hour telephone counselling to anyone who is feeling suicidal or anyone who is supporting someone who is feeling suicidal
1300 659 467

24-hour telephone counselling to anyone who is in crisis or feeling suicidal.
13 11 14

Safe Steps
24-hour family violence response line for anyone.
1800 015 188

Sexual Assault Crisis Line
24-hour telephone crisis counselling service for people who have experienced both past and recent sexual assault.
1800 806 292

24-hour drug and alcohol counselling and referral service
1800 888 236

About Midsumma Festival

Midsumma is Australia’s premier queer arts and cultural organisation, bringing together a diverse mix of LGBTQIA+ artists, performers, communities and audiences.

Their primary event, Midsumma Festival, runs over 22 days in Melbourne’s summer (January/February) each year with an explosion of queer events that centre around hidden and mainstream queer culture, involving local, interstate, and international artists. Visit the Midsumma website for the 2023 program.

Midsumma Festival 2023

About Midsumma Carnival

Midsumma Carnival is an iconic outdoor celebration that has become one of the biggest highlights in the LGBTIQA+ annual calendar. The event provides a fitting opening to a three-week Festival each year. In itself, Carnival is a huge single-day event running from 11am until 10pm in Alexandra Gardens in Melbourne’s CBD, with a massive set up and overall coordination required for delivery each year. Midsumma Carnival attracts a broad attendance across age ranges and demographics, truly celebrating a day of inclusion and diversity in all its forms. This popular annual event is free to the public. For more info, check out the Midsumma website. 

Download our Midsumma Carnival posters

'Family Violence Occurs in All Communities' Midsumma Poster
LGBTIQA+ people have a right to safety from family violence A3 poster

Thorne Harbour Health and the Zoe Belle Gender Collective developed two posters celebrating our LGBTISBQA and queer First Nations communities. Visit their website to download the posters.

Page last updated Thursday, January 19 2023


With the Safe and Equal monthly bulletin