All Australian governments have today agreed to work together to deliver on our shared vision to end gender-based violence within one generation, with the release of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 (National Plan).
The National Plan provides the blueprint to end family, domestic and sexual violence.
The Commonwealth, states and territories - along with victim-survivors, experts, frontline services and other stakeholders - contributed to the plan and committed to realise a nation where all people feel safe.
In Australia, one woman dies every ten days at the hands of their former or current partner. One in three women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15 and one in five has experienced sexual violence.
The level of violence that still exists in Australia and the impact that is has on women, children and their families is a national disgrace and we commit to take action.
For the first time, the National Plan includes a focus on recovery and the importance of engaging men and boys. The plan also highlights the need to respond to sexual violence in all settings and provides priority areas for action across the continuum of prevention, early intervention, response, and recovery and healing.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the release of the National Plan marks an important step in addressing violence against women and children.
“This National Plan gives us a clear blueprint for the next ten years to end gender-based violence in one generation,” Minister Rishworth said.
“Current rates of family, domestic and sexual violence are unacceptable. We want to make these changes now so the next generation of women and children can live in a society free from violence.”
Minister Rishworth said it was vital that the Commonwealth, states and territories are all pulling in the same direction.
“We need sustained and collective action across society. This includes providing better support and protection to victim-survivors and holding people who choose to use violence to account,” she said.
The National Plan also sets out how gender inequality drives violence against women and children.
Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher said achieving gender equality was at the core of the Albanese Labor Government’s agenda.
“The Albanese Government is addressing the root cause of gender-based violence by taking action to drive gender equality by delivering on our promised to develop a National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality,” Minister Gallagher said.
“The Strategy will map out how we address the structural barriers and inequalities that are a major driver behind gender-based violence.
“No amount of violence is acceptable and it is crucial that we talk honestly about some of the factors that contribute to violence against women and children, and what we will do to address some of the underlying causes.
“We are already implementing a range of commitments that support gender equality including by modernising Australia’s paid parental leave scheme and making childcare cheaper to give women greater flexibility and choice and get back to work sooner if they choose to,” Minister Gallagher concluded.
Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre which helped to conduct the consultation on the report, said gender-based violence was a “national crisis” in Australia.
“This is world leading. It sets the ambition to create whole of system responses that not only support victim-survivors to survive but to thrive beyond their experience of violence,” Dr Fitz-Gibbon said.
“This National Plan represents a much-needed decade long commitment to eliminate the national crisis of domestic, family and sexual violence. The voices of victim-survivors have been embedded into the Plan’s development. It is essential that the commitment to valuing the expertise of lived experience continues over the life of the Plan.”
Extensive consultations were held with victim-survivors, advocacy groups, specialist services, researchers, representatives from the health, law and justice sectors, business and community groups, and state and territory governments.
The National Plan includes a focus on:
- advancing gender equality and addressing other forms of discrimination that create the social context in which violence against women and children occurs
- the critical role of changing attitudes to stop violence from happening before it starts through national prevention efforts
- embedding effective early intervention approaches across the whole of society
- building the frontline sector workforce and ensuring women and children can access support no matter where they live
- making sure tailored and culturally-safe support is available and accessible to all women and children experiencing violence, and
- the need for person-centred services and better coordination and integration across systems.
Clear actions to implement the National Plan will be outlined in two supporting five-year Action Plans, which will show the steps the Commonwealth, state and territory governments will take to address the key areas in the National Plan.
Recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children experience unacceptably high rates of violence, the Government will continue to work to deliver our commitment to a standalone Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander National Plan.
The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 is available on the Department of Social Services website.
If you or someone you know is impacted by family, domestic or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT 24 hours, seven days a week on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au