OUR KEY ASKS
- Securing a sustainable footing for the specialist family violence sector
- Growing, developing, and retaining specialist workforces
- Eliminating the impossible ‘choice’ between violence and homelessness
- Addressing gaps and barriers in the expanding family violence system
- Investing meaningfully into primary prevention
Secure a sustainable financial footing for the specialist family violence sector
As community awareness around the dynamics and impacts of family violence increases and responses are embedded across an expansive system, demand for specialist services has skyrocketed and support needs have become more complex.
Investment into these services has not increased commensurately.
Specialist services need more funding, for longer terms, in order to deliver safe, effective, high-quality supports to all people experiencing family violence.
We are calling on all parties to commit to these priorities to ensure that every person experiencing family violence in Victoria can access the support and safety they need, when they need it.
Executive Director, Policy, Communications and Engagement
Safe and Equal
Growing, developing and
retaining specialist workforces
Primary prevention and family violence responses are highly specialised professions and there aren’t enough skilled and qualified people to deliver on Victoria’s ambitious vision of ending family violence.
Building a sustainable workforce requires concerted efforts not only to attract and train up new workers, but also to improve working conditions, expand development opportunities and strengthen career pathways to reduce turnover and maintain a healthy workforce.
This will require:
Eliminating the impossible ‘choice’ between violence and homelessness
Homelessness and family violence are inextricably linked, with family violence the leading cause of homelessness for women and children in Australia.
Victoria’s commitment to prioritising victim survivors in the development of new social housing has been welcome. Yet specialist services continue to be forced to accommodate people escaping family violence – at their most heightened risk – in unsuitable motels, and the unmet need for long term housing is continuing to grow.1
We need a housing guarantee for victim survivors and an immediate increase to the capacity of Victoria’s stretched specialist family violence accommodation system, while continuing to expand social housing stock.
Specifically, this will require:
Addressing gaps and barriers
in the expanding family violence system
More people are accessing family violence support in Victoria than ever before. One size does not fit all, and we need to tailor inclusive services based on people’s experiences, life stage and the barriers they might face to seeking safety and support.
Despite incredible and welcome reform and investment over the last six years, significant gaps in service responses persist.
We need to ensure all victim survivors can access the support they need, when and where they need it, through:
Investing meaningfully into primary prevention
Ending family violence and violence against women requires an enduring approach to challenging the deeply entrenched social norms, attitudes and behaviours that drive it. Doing this effectively means taking coordinated action across all settings and levels of society at once, and recognising that measurable change will take time.
A scaled-up approach requires:
- State of Victoria, Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, 2022, Unmet housing demand for people affected by family violence. Victorian Government Melbourne, tab Homelessness – long term, available at < https://www.dffh.vic.gov.au/data-showing-unmet-housing-demand-among-people-affected-family-violence-june-2021>