Free from Violence – First Action Plan 2018–2021; and building the capacity of diverse communities
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Primary prevention is key
- Improve support and service system responses
- 19 Build the evidence base to inform responses to domestic, family and sexual violence by strengthening the focus on what works to reduce violence, improving data and supporting the Fourth Action Plan priorities.
What are we doing?
The Free from violence First Action Plan 2018-2021 commits government to five priority areas to prevent family violence:
- 1. build prevention structures and systems
- 2. research and evaluate
- 3. innovate and inform
- 4. scale up and build on what we know
- 5. engage and communicate with the community.
The First Action Plan outlines and provides funding to short- and long-term initiatives to build the evidence base, infrastructure, and systems to prevent family violence and to implement the ten-year plan Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change.
Since 2017-18, the Victorian Government has provided $139.6 million to implement the 10-Year Free from Violence Strategy and First Action Plan 2018-2021. This includes $9.7 million committed in the 2020-21 Budget to support culturally and linguistically diverse and faith communities to undertake targeted prevention activities.
The Victorian Government has provided $50.8 million over four years to fund the Free From Violence First Action Plan 2018–2021. In addition, the Victorian Government has also provided $14 million toward the family violence prevention and gender equality work package (2018-2021) that specifically targets and supports culturally and linguistically diverse and faith communities, with a further $9.7 million committed in the 2020-21 Budget for the next four years.
Initiatives under the First Action Plan with additional Fourth Action Plan actions include:
|Initiative||Fourth Action Plan Actions|
|Investment in community-based programs across sport, advertising, local government and in other settings that challenge harmful gender stereotypes and address the gendered drivers of violence against women. Specific initiatives include:
|Free from Violence Monitoring and Evaluation Strategic Framework.||
|Elder Abuse prevention networks||
|Bystanders for Primary Prevention Program||
|Tailored support for culturally and linguistically diverse and faith communities|
|Community-led prevention projects in culturally diverse and faith-based communities, delivered through six programmatic streams:
What have we achieved so far?
Key achievements in Year One (2018-19) include:
- The establishment of Respect Victoria in 2018, Victoria’s first dedicated primary prevention agency to lead the state’s research, public engagement and behaviour change agendas.
- The development and delivery of multiple primary prevention programs and campaigns across a range of sectors including local government, Aboriginal-led organisations and community organisations. The initiatives funded by these programs target key settings including Aboriginal communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people from LGBTIQ communities and older Victorians. They also target key setting such as universities and TAFEs, antenatal and postnatal settings with the aim of establishing the evidence base and building on what works.
- Widespread community awareness and engagement in preventing violence against women through Respect Victoria’s delivery of three behaviour change campaigns designed at changing the social norms and attitudes that allow all forms of family violence and violence against women to occur — Respect Women: Call It Out (Café), Respect Women: Call It Out (Public Transport) and Respect Older People: Call It Out. Consumer research undertaken in 2018 indicated that those who had seen one of the campaigns were more likely to endorse the importance of respect and the impact that family violence and violence against women has, both on individual households and society.
- Commissioned research to understand the drivers of family violence against diverse communities, including older Victorians, women with disabilities and LGBTIQ+ people.
Key achievements in Year Two (2019-20) include:
- Continued delivery of the Free from violence Local Government Grants Program across 35 local government councils. A review found that participating councils have demonstrated increased capacity to be leaders in primary prevention; there has been growth in the number and expertise of the prevention workforce; and high-quality prevention programs are being delivered.
- Delivery of a range of initiatives through the Aboriginal Innovation Fund, which demonstrates improved understanding of healthy and respectful relationships in Aboriginal families and community; and increased confidence and leadership of Aboriginal people in the design and delivery of primary prevention projects in line with the principles of self-determination, lived experience and intersectionality.
- Development of evidence-based guidance for promoting bystander action, engaging men and boys in preventing violence against women and preventing family violence against LGBTIQ communities.
- Funding to 12 women’s health services, Our Watch, ANROWS and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria to build a stronger, more capable specialist prevention sector, with over 300 prevention workers participating in learning and development and training opportunities.
- Funding to trial and test innovative approaches to family violence in universal settings such as TAFEs and two Victorian universities.
- The co-design, testing and trailing of a range of innovative, community-led programs under the state-wide Safer and Stronger Communities Pilot Program to understand what works best to prevent family violence in migrant and refugee communities by supporting five organisations working on prevention in different regions across Victoria.
- Five pilot projects funded from July 2019 to late 2021 focused on building the capacity of faith leaders and communities, from the Anglican, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Uniting communities throughout Victoria. This included the development of training manuals and sessions, the creation of online and print resources (in various languages), the formation of steering committees and advisory groups, and partnerships with specialist prevention organisations. A technical paper and an evidence guide were also developed to support the pilot, which outline the best and most promising practices for strengthening the capacity of faith leaders.
Key achievements in Year Three (2020-21) include:
- The release of the Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan (RAP) 2020-2023 in December 2020. The RAP was a coordinated effort across government, developed while Victoria was deep in the second wave of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is being delivered as Victoria continues to respond to the global pandemic. The RAP includes a focus on intersectionality and Aboriginal self-determination as reform-wide priorities.
- The Multicultural COVID-19 Family Violence Program commenced in July 2020 to June 2022 and supports 20 multicultural, ethno-specific and faith-based organisations across Victoria to deliver family violence awareness raising, primary prevention and early intervention activities during the coronavirus pandemic response and recovery.
- Commencing the design of a best practice model for the delivery of primary prevention activity in Local Government settings.
- Undertaken and released a suite of rapid research studies into the impacts of COVID-19 on drivers of family violence for different communities.
- Establishing a new Primary Prevention Strategic Reference Group, which will provide high level, strategic advice to the Victorian Government, particularly the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and Respect Victoria, on current and emerging issues relevant to the primary prevention of family violence and violence against women, and on government policy, programs and services to address those issues.
What is next?
- Respect Victoria has publicly released a Free from Violence Monitoring and Evaluation Strategic Framework to support the Victorian Government and partners to guide monitoring, evaluation and reporting activities. This is founded on the Free from violence Outcomes Framework and will provide clear and transparent information about program effectiveness, accounting for the diversity, scope and complexity of initiatives under the First Action Plan.
- Release in the first half of 2021 of a Prevention of Family Violence Data Platform providing access to data and analysis of some 87 discrete measures relating to drivers, risk factors and prevalence of family violence in all forms.
- Finalise development of a Research Agenda for Prevention of Family Violence.
- The Free from Violence First Action Plan 2018-2021 is the first in a three-staged approach to delivering a ten-year Free from violence Strategy. The Second Action Plan is currently being developed and is scheduled to be released in late 2021. It will focus on strengthening whole-of-community efforts and actions through the scale up of prevention activity in key settings and sectors.
- The Supporting Multicultural and Faith Communities to Prevent Violence Against Women 2021 Grant Program was launched in August 2021. This grant program supports 33 organisations over three years to June 2024 to build the capacity of multicultural and faith communities to address family violence and all forms of violence against women through innovative, culturally appropriate and tailored primary prevention and early intervention projects.
What difference will we make?
- The Free from violence Strategy provides a framework for delivering primary prevention initiatives that address the gendered drivers of family violence and violence against women.
- The Free from violence First Action Plan 2018-2021 contains 33 key actions to guide better policies, programs, and services that meet the needs of their targeted communities and will support better outcomes for all Victorians. Of the 33 actions, 26 actions have been acquitted and the remaining seven are on-track to be acquitted.
- This significant activity is building a stronger, more capable specialist prevention sector, strengthening our understanding of the intersectional drivers of family violence and what works to prevent it, and is already resulting in widespread community awareness and engagement in key campaigns to prevent violence against women.
- There are economic benefits associated with addressing the gendered drivers of family violence to reduce the prevalence of violence in Victoria, resulting in a reduction in the use of early intervention and response services.
- Reducing the prevalence of family violence will also alleviate pressure on support systems including hospitals, police, and legal services.
- By addressing the gendered drivers of family violence, the Plan will lead to improved social and health outcomes, including increased health and wellbeing in women, men and gender diverse people.
The Free rom violence First Action Plan 2018-2021 contributes to a growing body of evidence on what works to prevent violence in different communities and lays the foundations for the community-level partnerships and leadership capacity that is required to create and sustain long-term change. Initiatives under the Plan will build the evidence-base, infrastructure, and systems that will prevent family violence and violence against women before it occurs.