Family Violence Sector Updates – 2021

Dec 2021:  National strategy to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse 2021–2030

In late December 2021 the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet released the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030. The National Strategy’s objective is to reduce the risk, extent and impact of child sexual abuse and related harms in Australia.  The implementation of the strategy is led by the National Office for Child Safety.

This National Strategy points out that child sexual abuse rarely occurs in isolation. It often happens alongside other forms of child maltreatment, including exposure to domestic and family violence. No national data source currently measures how often child sexual abuse happens along with other forms of child maltreatment.

You can download the strategy here.


7 Dec 2021: Launched: Free From Violence – Second Action Plan 2022-2025

The Free from Violence Second Action Plan (2022-2025) represents a partnership between the Victorian Government and Respect Victoria – the statutory authority dedicated to the primary prevention of all forms of family violence – to work with the broader family violence sector and the community to end family violence.

It builds on key achievements of the first action plan, including the establishment of Respect Victoria, implementing Respectful Relationships in all government schools and developing research into the drivers of family violence and what works to prevent it, including violence against women with disability, LGBTIQ+ people and elder abuse, and how to engage men and boys in prevention efforts.

Read more at the Respect Victoria website.


The Second National Survey on Technology Abuse and Domestic Violence in Australia

In 2020, WESNET with the assistance of Dr Delanie Woodlock and researchers from Curtin University, repeated the national survey of domestic and family violence practitioners.  Funded by a generous donation by Telstra, the survey asks practitioners about what kinds of abuse tactics frontline workers are seeing in their day-to-day work with survivors of domestic and family violence and other forms of violence against women.  Access the report here.


17 Nov 2021: Formation of Safe+Equal

Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre (DVRCV) have united to form Safe and Equal, Victoria’s peak body for family and gender-based violence.

For more than three decades, Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) have been two key organisations in the establishment and coordination of the specialist family violence sector in Victoria.   

After comprehensive consultation with staff, members and other stakeholders, the Boards and members of DV Vic and DVRCV voted to merge in March 2020, representing an exciting new chapter in the extensive histories of both organisations. 

On 17 November 2021, we launched our new visionary name and brand with our Board, members, key stakeholders and partners. Combining over thirty years of experience in advocacy and innovation for change in the family violence sector, DV Vic and DVRCV are proud to unite as Safe and Equal, the peak body for specialist family violence services supporting victim survivors in Victoria.  


28 Oct 2021:  Uniting CEO Bronwyn Pike Announces “Escaping Violence Payment” Trial

Safety and stability for all victims of family violence

Uniting Vic.Tas will be part of a nationwide trial of a program to support people, primarily women, escaping family violence. We are the lead agency for the 10 UnitingCare Network Consortium organisations across the country that are working together to deliver this nationwide Escaping Violence Payment pilot program.

We already provide support for victims of family violence, through services such as Orange Door, counselling, support groups and men’s behaviour change programs. We know from our existing work in this area that a lack of funds can often be a barrier to leaving a violent partner, or even be a reason why someone returns to a situation that puts them at risk.  There has been a huge effort from Operations and across Support Services to get this service up and running in a very short time. And work continues as we evolve and strengthen the initial model.


Oct 2021:  Northern IFVN – New PSA Veronica (Ronnie) Hunt

Read the NIFVN Newsletter and announcement here.


7 Oct 2021: Gabrielle Williams – Press Release – Work Continues on Reforms to End Family Violence

The Victorian Government has marked another milestone in its pledge to deliver on every single recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and drive down all forms of family violence – with more than 200 recommendations now implemented.

The latest tranche of completed recommendations takes the total to 204 of 227 recommendations now completed. It includes better protecting family violence survivors under tenancy laws, establishing youth refuges in Preston and Werribee, and a broader range of programs for perpetrators.

The Victorian Government has invested more than $3.5 billion in ending family violence since the Royal Commission – more than all the other states combined and more than the Commonwealth – to deliver meaningful and lasting change to the way our community understands, prevents and responds to family violence.

Of the latest 37 recommendations implemented, key reforms include:

  • Implementation of all the primary prevention focused recommendations, with all Victorian government schools and 384 non-government schools now delivering the Respectful Relationships initiative, building cultures of respect and gender equality across school communities. More than 1,950 Victorian government, Catholic and independent schools are now participating.
  • Strengthening the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 to better protect those who have experienced family violence in their rental property. Victim survivors are now able to terminate their tenancy with no liability for debts of their perpetrators.
  • Helping young people in need through the establishment of dedicated youth refuges, such as the Kids Under Cover Village 21 in Preston and the Iramoo Youth Refuge in Werribee, providing accommodation and support to young people who are leaving out-of-home care and would otherwise be homeless.
  • The development and implementation of a broad range of new perpetrator interventions, with unique responses for different groups who use violence – including the Caring Dads program targeting fathers who use violence, court-based initiatives to address LGBTIQ+ perpetrators and embedding family violence practitioners within the Children’s Court of Victoria.

The remaining 23 recommendations are already in progress and on track to be fully implemented by October 2022. For more information, visit