Transforming responses to intimate partner and sexual violence: Listening to the voices of victims, perpetrators and services.

This large-scale national project (the “Voices” study) captures the experiences and perspectives of victims and survivors, people who use violence, and service providers. By building an understanding of help-seeking journeys, this project has addressed a gap in the evidence base which has previously been limited to discrete contexts of help-seeking, such as emergency departments, primary healthcare providers and the court system.

The broader view of the help-seeking journey in this study informs service design and policy responses across service systems. The study was a collaboration between the Safer Families Centre for Research Excellence at the University of Melbourne and ANROWS.

Download the report here

EDVOS, an acronym for Eastern Domestic Violence Outreach Service has served the community since 1994. As society and our community has changed over time, so too has EDVOS. In response to those societal changes, major reform and policy leadership in Victoria and an evolving level of understanding and expectations of family violence and gender inequity, EDVOS recognised an opportunity to refocus their brand and identity towards the future.

The team arrived at their new name, FVREE and identity through a process of consultation with stakeholders, staff and victim survivors. This video provides a snapshot of some context.

FVREE still provide the same support services in the same way and more recently through the Orange Door. Their new web address is www.fvree.org.au and their contact numbers remain unchanged.

Survivors of family violence are often left with limited housing options once they leave the relationship. PCLC have seen many examples of women settling for less than half the joint property value where assets are held only in the name of their partner and the women are unaware of their legal rights over the property. At least 5% of our family law clients in the past year came to us with evidence of property ownership, but none were able to retain this post financial settlement and were often forced into seeking social housing.  

Through a pilot program completed earlier this year, PCLC assisted women affected by family violence to access a more equitable share of assets.  During the pilot, a total of 43 women were assisted, with 20 receiving ongoing support and a monetary benefit of $1,177,673 resulting in significant financial stability to the families involved. While PCLC is continuing to provide legal assistance to a small number of women with small pool property claims, at present we only have limited ability to assist.

PCLC is advocating for additional funding for legal and financial planning support for women who have survived family violence and are in the process of financial separation. PCLC is also advocating that the federal government makes good on a pre-election promise to establish a shared equity scheme to help people on moderate incomes to secure home loans with the government taking a stake in the property, and that these women be targeted as priority beneficiaries.

In October, Peninsula Community Legal Centre commenced providing legal services at Frankston Orange Door, the Victorian government family violence services hub. The demand for legal assistance for victim survivors of family violence has continued to rise due to an increase in the rate of family violence and significant backlogs of family violence matters in the Magistrates Court as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres is advocating for community legal services to be embedded in the Orange Door network across the state to meet this rising demand.  

Research on Adolescent family violence in Australia: A national study of prevalence, use of and exposure to violence, and support needs for young people that surveyed over 5,000 young people aged 16 to 20. It found one in five young people who participated reported having used violence against a family member, and 89 per cent of those young people had experienced child abuse during their lifetime.

Respect Victoria has launched the next phase of Respect Women: ‘Call It Out.’ We’re sharing stories of Victorians taking steps towards equality in their communities, relationships, families and workplaces.

These stories touch on what it means to be a man, the role that respect plays in relationships, and breaking down gender stereotypes that hold us all back. 

Launching in the lead-up to the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Respect Women showcases messages of respect and equality. 

The campaign will run across social media, radio, press and digital channels in regional and metro Victoria in November and December. Supporting collateral has been developed in Arabic, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Hindi, Vietnamese and Easy English. 

View the campaign on our website, and read on for ways you can get involved

Safe and Equal welcomes the Albanese government’s first budget and acknowledges the tough financial circumstances in which it is being delivered.

Read more here

Victoria University and Our Watch are partnering to help address systemic issues around gender inequality and violence – a historic first for higher and vocational institutions. Read the media release to find out more

The federal government has appointed a former social worker with experience leading homelessness and human rights organisations as Australia’s first Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner after dumping the Coalition’s pick earlier this year.

Read the full article here.

Today, parliament passed a bill that will enshrine 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave as a workplace right for every worker in Australia.

It is a new workplace right that will literally save lives.

And it is all thanks to the tireless work of hundreds of thousands of union members around this country who stood up and said: Enough words. We need action.

Today’s win comes off the back of a decade of campaigning by the union movement and activists. A decade which has seen us win change, workplace by workplace, agreement by agreement, then in Awards, and now, in the National Employment Standards.

Make sure you register for our special documentary film screening of the story of all the incredible women who fought so long to win this right.

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