What is the National Plan?
The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (the National Plan) aims to connect the important work being done by all Australian governments, community organisations and individuals to reduce violence so that we can work together to ensure each year, less women experience violence and more women and their children live safely.
How was the National Plan developed?
Domestic and family violence and sexual assault are crimes that must be stopped. In Australia, around one in three women has experienced physical violence, and almost one in five has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
In May 2008, the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (the National Council) was established to develop an evidence-based plan for reducing violence against women and their children. The National Council report Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2009–2021, recommended that all Australian governments agree to a long-term plan to reduce violence, with the Commonwealth Government taking a leadership role.
Building on the groundwork of the National Council’s recommendations and extensive consultation with the community, including through engaging over 2,000 community stakeholders, reviewing 370 public submissions and convening six expert roundtable forums, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (the National Plan) was developed in partnership with all states and territories. It was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and released in February 2011.
What does the National Plan aim to achieve?
The National Plan outlines what we are collectively doing to reduce violence against women and their children in Australia. Its vision is that:
Australian women and their children live free from violence in safe communities.
Over the 12-year plan, the aim is to achieve:
A significant and sustained reduction in violence against women and their children.
The National Plan focuses on the two main types of violent crimes that have a major impact on women in Australia–domestic and family violence and sexual assault. Research shows there is a strong link between violence against women and their children and how people view the roles of women and men. The National Plan focuses on stopping violence before it happens in the first place. It supports women who have experienced violence, holds perpetrators to account for their violence, and works to build the evidence base so that we learn more about ‘what works’ in reducing violence against women.
These changes take time, which is why we need a long-term plan. The National Plan is being delivered through four three-year action plans that build on each other. The action plans are designed to look back at what has been achieved and refocus on what actions will make the most difference in the future.
Reporting and evaluation
Monitoring and reporting progress is critical to making sure our work is improving the safety of women and their children.
The National Plan includes a commitment to evaluate and report on progress. An Evaluation Plan was developed by an independent organisation in consultation with key stakeholders within the community. The Evaluation Plan sets out a number of activities to measure progress under the National Plan. Evaluation will happen every three years and at the end of the National Plan’s lifespan. Many individual activities under the National Plan are also separately evaluated.
There are a number of ways we report on the progress we are making under the National Plan:
First Action Plan (2010–2013)
- A Progress Review assesses the progress of the First Action Plan (2010–2013) against what it set out to achieve – laying a strong foundation for long-term change.
- A 2010–2012 Progress Report covers the first two years of the National Plan.
Second Action Plan (2013–2016)
- A 2014–2015 Annual Progress Report outlines key achievements made at the national level and within all states and territories against the 26 practical actions prioritised under the Second Action Plan (2013–2016).
- The 2015–16 Annual Progress Report is the last progress report of the Second Action Plan 2013–2016, Moving Ahead, under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.
Third Action Plan (2016–2019)
- The 2016–17 Annual Progress Report is the first progress report against the six priority areas of the Third Action Plan 2016–19 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.
- The 2017–18 Annual Progress Report reports against the six priority areas of the Third Action Plan 2016–19 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.
- An e-Newsletter provides information about activities happening under the National Plan and the actions plan.
Linked national initiatives
The National Plan recognises that domestic and family violence and sexual assault do not occur in isolation from other challenges faced by individuals and communities. The National Plan strengthens linkages to other national reforms to create a holistic response to reducing violence against women and their children. This includes work relating to female genital mutilation/cutting, trafficking and human slavery, disability, homelessness, income management, children, and settlement services for refugee and migrant women.
Other helpful information
Easy Read documents
Key historical documents
- Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009–2021
Information for media, including media releases, ministerial videos and speeches, is available on the Department of Social Services website.