Family Violence Royal Commission Report ‘To Change Everything’
30 March 2016 at 10:55 pm
The Royal Commission into Family Violence has made 227 recommendations in a report tabled in the Victorian Parliament receiving widespread praise from the Not for Profit sector and the community generally.
“I think the key message in the report is that although there are good things being done by many services and good features of existing systems the overall response to family violence needs to be transformed,” the Chair of the Royal Commission, Marcia Neave, said.
“The 227 work together as an overall package many of them are dependent on others being put in place.”
In the latest episode of Not for Podcast, Not for Profit leaders and policy experts who were in the official report launch “lockup” share their insights about how the Royal Commission’s recommendations are likely to play out.
One of the major recommendations is the establishment of support and safety hubs across Victoria.
The report recommends 17 hubs that would provide specialist services for victims and their families.
The report also called for new laws to allow information sharing about perpetrators across all jurisdictions.
It recommended a plan to trial body-wearing cameras by police to obtain evidence and said that within five years there should be special courts set up to deal with all matters – criminal and civil – to deal with family violence.
The Victorian Government has already pledged to implement all the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
“We will put family violence victims at the heart of our reforms,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“This report will change everything.”
— Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) March 30, 2016
The Labor Government last week injected almost $10 million of immediate funding for family violence victim survivors and established a Victim-Survivors’ Advisory Council, chaired by former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, and a Family Violence Steering Committee to help us reform our family violence system.
“Our family violence system has failed victims for too long,” Andrews said.
“I thank the many people who have contributed to the Royal Commission, particularly the brave victim survivors and the people who support them.”
“The Royal Commission’s report provides a framework for long-term, whole-of-government, transformational change across the family violence system,” Victorian Council of Social Service CEO, Emma King said
“The breadth of the report is extraordinary, encompassing all areas of government and social service delivery.”
“VCOSS welcomes the focus on critical areas that are often overlooked, such as financial security. For example, the recommendations look at ways to stop women having their electricity cut off or losing their tenancy as a result of family violence,” King said.
“Some of the recommendations will require significant new funding. We look forward to seeing this begin to roll out in the state government’s April budget.
“Challenges will inevitably arise with such seismic change to the way the Victorian community, the service system and government work together to tackle the scourge of family violence. But it is incumbent on us all to make the most of what is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to achieve real change.”
Berry Street’s CEO, Sandie de Wolf AM, said: “The Royal Commission into Family Violence has laid bare a traumatic lived experience for many and that’s why this final report is so very important; for there is no place for violence in our community – not in our families or homes, not on our streets or in our neighbourhoods, not in our workplace or services, or our sporting fields – and not in the lives of our children.”
National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell said the Australian community is right to regard family violence and its consequences as an issue in need of urgent and effective intervention.
“Existing policy responses have not reduced the prevalence and severity of family violence and its damaging impact on children.
“The Royal Commission’s report and Premier Andrews’ response represent a significant breakthrough for the wellbeing of women, children and families affected by domestic violence.
“Many of the report’s findings are relevant across the nation and I urge other jurisdictions to carefully consider the work and recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission,” Commissioner Mitchell said.
The Royal Commission was established in February last year and hearings began in July. It has heard from more than 200 witnesses in its 25 sitting days.
The primary focus of inquiry was to improve a system that is struggling to cope with the sheer volume of people who need help, the inquiry’s head Marcia Neave said at its launch.
Survivors told their stories of family violence, including last year’s Australian of the Year Rosie Batty and experts from fields including housing,social work and child development, and elder abuse.
It also heard from Victoria Police about challenges facing law enforcement and the judicial system.