200+ recommendations to tackle crisis: Royal Commission into Family Violence report

The Royal Commission into Family Violence has come up with 227 recommendations for tackling the problem of family violence across the state – recommendations which the Victorian Government has previously committed to implement  

Releasing the report today, Royal Commissioner Marcia Neave said that while there are many positive programs assisting with the problem, “The overall response to family violence needs to be transformed”. 

She said all the recommendations should be implemented, that many are dependent on each other. 

Key recommendations from the report include:

* 17 support and safety hubs throughout Victoria, operating as entry points to specialist programs and support services. 

* New information sharing laws ensuring that perpetrator privacy “does not trump victims’ safety”. 

* An independent family violence agency to help keep the government in check 

* More mobile technology for police, including cameras worn by the police to support in gathering evidence

* More specialist family courts, so that within five years all victims of family violence will have their cases heard in such courts 

* Updated security at the courts, so victims don’t have to come into contact with perpetrators at the courts. 

* More focus on children, the “silent victims of family violence”, including more access to therapeutic programs

The inquiry’s focus was to identify ways of improving a family violence system struggling with the sheer volume of people who need help. Last financial year, more than 70,000 domestic violence incidents were reported in Victoria. It was a 4.6% rise from the previous year, according to figures released by the Crime Statistics Agency, with 75.2% of victims found to be female. 

The report follows a 13-month inquiry into a comprehensive list of family violence matters, including prevention, early interventions, victim support, perpetrator accountability, a better coordinated community and government response, and how to evaluate and measures strategies, policies and services.  

The Commission was established in February last year, and included 25 days of hearing evidence from 219 witnesses, including 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Barry. 

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