Developing the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children
The submission to the Department of Social Services (DSS) regarding its public consultation for developing the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (National Plan) was prepared by the Law Council of Australia.
As rightly acknowledged in Australia’s existing National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 201-2022 (Existing Plan), family (and, typically, gendered) violence affects not only the victim, but also the children who are exposed to the violence, their families and the community more broadly.1
The Law Council strongly supports the objectives of the Existing Plan, as well as the four Action Plans through which it has been implemented to date. Violence against women and their children in Australia should be considered a national emergency which requires decisive and immediate action. Over 2 million Australians have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or previous partner2 and on average, one woman is murdered by her current or former partner every week.3
Recognising this emergency, the National Plan must prioritise timely action and proper implementation, including resourcing, monitoring and oversight. Importantly, effective implementation must involve substantial and sustained resourcing across multiple sectors, including legal, health and social. The ‘key priorities and focus areas’ for the National Plan as drafted in the consultation guide produced by the DSS will require a significant injection of sustained and consistent funding from government. This will ensure that long-term programs can be implemented and the immediate needs of women and children at risk of, and experiencing, family and sexual violence, can be met.
You can read the full submission below.
1 Council of Australian Governments, National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022