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I believe you: children and young people’s experiences of seeking help, securing help and navigating the family violence system

Lived experience Child welfare Mandatory reporting Family violence Victims of family violence Violence against children Victoria

In Australia, at the national and state level, there is increasing acknowledgement of the need to better respond to children and young people as victim-survivors of family violence in their own right. The recently released National plan to end violence against women and children 2022-2032 embeds this acknowledgement, and there have been calls at the state and national level to ensure that early intervention and system responses are reformed to ensure age-appropriate and child-centred practices.

Despite this, to date there has been minimal research conducted directly with children and young people who have experienced family violence.

This report presents the key findings and thematic analysis of interviews with 17 children and young people living in Victoria who have had experience of family violence. The report sets out details about the study design and then presents the findings organised into five key areas:

  1. Young people’s perceptions of wellbeing and keeping safe
  2. The invisibility of children and young people in system responses to family violence
  3. The importance of creating space for children and young people to safely disclose
  4. Improving system responses
  5. Experiences of mandatory reporting requirements.
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