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Therapeutic responses

Responsible government

  • Victoria

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 17 Collaborate across services, sectors and workforces to ensure responses to women affected by domestic, family and sexual violence are coordinated, meet women’s needs, avoid women having to retell their story and promote their recovery.

What are we doing?

Therapeutic response initiatives provide specialist support to victim survivors of family violence and sexual assault to assist them to understand the impact of trauma and violence, and for them to thrive and recover. The initiative includes the establishment of therapeutic interventions for victim survivors of family violence and the continued delivery of the Sexually Abusive Behaviours Treatment Service (SABTS), which works with young people using problematic sexual behaviours, or sexually abusive behaviours, and their families.

  • In 2020-21, the Victorian Government will provide $7.9 million to fund the SABTS program.
  • In 2020-21, the Victorian Government will invest an additional $21.2 million to establish a state-wide therapeutic platform to deliver therapeutic interventions for victim survivors of family violence.

What have we achieved so far?

Following an evaluation of therapeutic demonstration projects, Family Safety Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services have expanded the delivery of therapeutic services to victim survivors of family violence across the state. This includes services specifically for Aboriginal communities and families, delivered by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

In addition, Family Safety Victoria funds 11 agencies to provide services to children and young people up to 18 years who engage in sexually abusive behaviours.

Family Safety Victoria funds three agencies to deliver adolescent family violence programs to children and young people between 12 and 17 in Barwon, Bayside Peninsula and Central Highlands and an Aboriginal-specific service in Mallee.

In December 2020, a six month funding boost was provided to 14 mainstream and four Aboriginal therapeutic interventions providers to respond to children and young people aged 12 to 17, who are using violence in the home.

What is next?

Therapeutic responses for family violence and services for children and young people engaging in sexually abusive behaviours are established programs.

FSV will work with successful providers to continue to build evidence in what works for victim survivors to recover and heal, as well as to measure impact of these programs.

The expansion of specialised therapeutic support services for Aboriginal Victorians who are victims of family violence and sexual assault supports community-led action plans under Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples. Strong Families.

FSV will continue to build the evidence about the needs of children and young people who are impacted by or use violence in the home.

What difference will we make?

This initiative will contribute to the National Outcomes that Indigenous communities are strengthened and that services meet the needs of women and their children experiencing violence.

The Victorian Family Violence Outcomes Framework was published in Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change, which outlined Victoria’s priorities in preventing and responding to family violence, why they matter, and what constitutes success. The Victorian Family Violence Outcomes Framework is a whole of Government framework and is intended to ensure Victorian family violence reform efforts are focused on the actions that make a difference. The Victorian Government is progressing development of the framework, including through indicators and measures. In time, measurement and monitoring of Victorian family violence outcomes may also support reporting for the National Plan.

Victoria will monitor the SABTS component of this initiative by reporting on the number of children who receive a SABTS response.

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