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Governments across Australia came together in 2009 to establish the National plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2010 – 2022. Many achievements have flowed from the national plan, including the creation of Our Watch, the Stop it at the Start awareness campaign, and national support services such as 1800RESPECT.

As the first national plan comes to an end, addressing family, domestic and sexual violence remains an urgent challenge. Behind every shocking statistic is the life of an individual, cut short or often irreparably damaged by someone who once cared for them. However, the impacts of such violence run far deeper than just the lives tragically lost. There are victim-survivors who live in constant fear, for themselves, their children, their parents and work colleagues. The ripple effect caused by family, domestic and sexual violence cascades through our community and is becoming a tsunami of inconsolable grief for those impacted.

This inquiry was an opportunity to reflect on the successes and shortcomings of the national plan, to hear from experts in the field about what has and has not worked, and to identify opportunities to ensure that the next national plan leads to a meaningful reduction in the unacceptable rates of family, domestic and sexual violence.

Report overview:

  • Chapter 2 provides background on family violence in Australia, and the national plan.
  • Chapter 3 discusses the roles of and coordination between the Australian Government, state and territory governments, and local governments concerning policies and programs to prevent and respond to family violence, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of activities in that regard.
  • Chapter 4 examines non-physical forms of family and domestic violence, including coercive control, technology-facilitated abuse and financial abuse.
  • Chapter 5 focuses on responses to family violence in specific communities within Australia whose experiences and needs require particular consideration.
  • Chapters 6, 7 and 8 examine the three key areas into which responses to family and domestic violence are generally divided.

Each chapter outlines evidence considered by the Committee on multiple issues. It then concludes by setting out the Committee’s comments and recommendations in relation to all of the matters covered in the chapter.

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