Family Violence Prevention Strategy | City of Casey
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15 May 2018

Family Violence Prevention Strategy

Version 1.0

Purpose

Our vision is for the City of Casey to be a family-friendly city where women and children feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods, and live free from family violence.

Definitions

Council

means Casey City Council, being a body corporate constituted as a municipal Council under the Local Government Act 1989.

Councillors

means the individuals holding the office of a member of Casey City Council.

Council officer

means the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Council appointed by the Chief Executive Officer.

Family violence

refers to violence between family members, including children and parents, as well as intimate partners. The perpetrator uses violence to control and dominate the other person. This causes fear, physical harm, and/or psychological harm. It is a violation of human rights.

Gender-based violence

is directed against a woman because she is a woman or is violence that affects women disproportionately.

Gender equity

is an important social justice goal. The concept recognises that within all communities, women and men have different benefits, access to power, resources and responsibilities. It takes into consideration the differences in women’s and men’s lives, and recognises that different approaches may be needed to produce outcomes that are fair.1

Primary prevention

refers to actions that prevent violence before it occurs by focusing on settings where inequality and violent behaviour are shaped, by building social structures, norms and practices that prevent or reduce the risk of violence. A primary prevention approach works across the whole population to address the attitudes, practices and power differentials that drive violence against women and their children.

Early intervention

means identifying people who are at risk of experiencing or perpetrating family violence and connecting them with the right support through local and state government early intervention platforms such as maternal and child health, early childhood education and schools.

Response

refers to services and actions in place to assist women after violence has occurred and include crisis centres, legal, family and other services.

Violence against Women

is any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual and psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.2 It can also include financial abuse, using intimidation, threats and isolation.

Scope

The City of Casey has had a longstanding commitment to promoting gender equity and preventing family violence. Key learnings from our work in this space, together with evidence in the literature regarding what works to prevent violence against women, has led us to develop a bold and innovative Family Violence Prevention Strategy and Action Plan for the City of Casey. The Strategy demonstrates our strong commitment to the prevention of family violence in the Casey community and more broadly.

This Strategy describes how we will strive towards an integrated, whole of Council approach to the prevention of family violence in the City of Casey. As the level of government closest to the community, Council is mandated to create healthy, safe and inclusive communities.

We must also advocate for social justice and human rights on behalf of the entire community.

This Strategy’s definition of violence against women is shared with Change the Story, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 and the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993). It is:

Any act of gender based violence that causes or could cause physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of harm or coercion, in public or in private life.3

International Conventions

The prevention of violence against women is a clear responsibility of governments and public authorities under international human rights law. The core legal obligation that establishes this responsibility is the United Nations (1979) Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (known as CEDAW).4 In Victoria, and globally, there is increasing recognition that violence against women can be prevented, and there is increasing emphasis on social programs and initiatives designed to effect change.5

Further to the CEDAW Convention, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed by the United Nations to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Australia is a signatory to both the MDGs and the SDGs.6 The SDGs are intentionally for all countries, developed and developing, with an emphasis on equity and vulnerable groups.

The goals are universally applicable and create a common language for governments, NGOs, philanthropic organisations, and business.

The most relevant SDG for the City of Casey’s Prevention of Family Violence Strategy and Gender Equity Strategy is Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.7 This goal is about eliminating the suffering caused by gender inequality, discrimination and violence towards women and girls. Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,8 relates to the Council Plans for Health and Wellbeing more broadly.

This Strategy and Action Plan aligns current and proposed activity and advocacy efforts with best practice policy and program development, State and Federal Government policy. It identifies opportunities for the City of Casey to demonstrate leadership in the prevention of family violence, as well as to attract funding to the Casey community.

Council has been actively working and advocating towards the prevention of family violence for a number of years, guided by the research demonstrating that the key determinant of violence against women is the persisting inequities between men and women, and the unequal distribution of power between men and women. Council’s response has been to support a number of initiatives including the Challenge Family Violence program and Promoting Peace in Families project.

This Strategy will strengthen Council’s approach moving forward and provide a sound platform for actions and funding applications.

Strategy

Local Government is in a unique position of having enormous reach, influence and access to our local communities through the various services and functions that we provide. The City of Casey works closely with individuals, families, community organisations, local businesses, sporting clubs and faith communities. We impact the community via planning, facilities and infrastructure provision, as well as promoting key messages that influence community attitudes. This puts the City of Casey in a position to be able to provide a whole of community response, from identifying those at risk of violence to addressing the broader determinants of violence.

Councils play a central role in promoting peaceful, healthy and safe environments due to their work with a whole range of services and sectors. We can work to prevent violence against women in many practical ways through our role in:

  • Local leadership
  • Planning
  • Developing facilities and creating safe public environments
  • Service provision, and
  • As an employer and procurer.

Local Government community services such as Maternal and Child Health, Early Childhood Services, Youth Services and Home and Community Care, also work directly with individuals at risk of experiencing violence and are an essential part of the family violence response system.

The City of Casey Council Plan 2017-2021 recognises that family violence is one of the most significant community safety issues within the municipality, and aims to provide an inclusive, safe and connected community, and a Council where services and facilities are driven by community needs. Council has committed to working towards ensuring that Casey is a family-friendly city, where everyone feels safe in their homes, neighbourhoods, public spaces and on all modes of transport9.

The Council Plan identifies relevant Strategic Objectives for its planning including:

  • Enhancement of the health and wellbeing of all residents (2.1)
  • Building of neighbourhoods that are safe and foster community connection (2.2) including reductions in the levels of violence and injury

The development of this Strategy has been allocated as an action of the Year One Action Plan of the Council Plan 2017-2021. This strategy aligns with the Southern Metropolitan Region PVAW Strategy ‘Preventing Violence Together – A Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region’10 - a region-wide strategy for the prevention of violence against women and their children, of which the City of Casey is a signatory.

Figure 1 illustrates how this Strategy and Action Plan are aligned with Council’s other strategic plans. (See Attached PDF)

Violence against women is an urgent public health and human rights issue that also has direct and indirect impacts on children11. Many children and young people witness violence in their homes, with one in four young people reportedly having witnessed an act of physical violence against their mother or step-mother.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (2014) Personal Safety Survey reports that:

  • Of those women who had experienced violence by a current partner, 54% had children in their care at the time of the violence and 31% of the children had seen or heard the violence.
  • Of the women who had experienced violence by a former partner, 61% had children in their care at the time of the violence and 48% of the children had seen or heard the violence.
  • Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for children in Australia.
  • Studies have found that exposure to domestic and family violence can affect a child's mental wellbeing and contribute to poorer educational outcomes and a range of behavioural issues12.
  • It is estimated that Victorian Aboriginal women are 45 times more likely to experience family violence than non-Aboriginal women.13

Growth in the City of Casey is driven by young families. It is home to approximately 68,000 children who are 15 years and under, and there are roughly 5,000 babies born each year. Violence is a social determinant of health, and Council planning to reduce the prevalence of family violence is central to Council’s vision for a liveable city that is safe for all residents.

Local government can and must, make a difference because its reach across the community where people live, work, learn and play, from birth to old age, is unrivalled.

As illustrated in Figure 2, the reach of Councils ranges from Corporate Services, Health and Wellbeing, Maternal and Child Health, Early Years, Youth Services, Sport and Recreation, Libraries, Arts and Culture, Emergency Management, Animal Management and Local Laws.

Figure 2: Council's reach for family violence prevention across the community (See attached policy)

This Strategy and its Action Plan are based on a primary prevention approach which works towards action on the social and cultural conditions that enable violence against women to occur.

This Strategy is underpinned by the understanding that gender inequity is a key driver of family violence and that gender-based violence has multiple causes. This is best conceptualised in a socio-ecological model (Figure 3), which is a useful way to understand individual behaviour in a social context and demonstrates the interactive nature of a range of key factors.

Figure 3: Socio-ecological model (see attached PDF)

The model illustrates that local government actions are focussed at all levels, for example:

  • The individual level relates to Council services that have direct contact with residents such as Maternal and Child Health Services and Local Laws teams;
  • The Relationship level relates to those settings and programs that seek to reduce the risks of violence and promote healthy relationships such as the Baby Makes 3 program for new parents and Respectful Relationships and Safe Schools programs for children and adolescents. Such programs are about promoting safety among the next generation and equipping them with the skills to form healthy and respectful relationships in adulthood.
  • The Community level relates to the settings such as schools, sporting venues, workplaces and neighbourhoods in which social relationships occur.
  • The Societal level relates to health, economic and social policies which drive community attitudes and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity.

Causes of Family Violence

This Strategy recognises the well-established drivers of family violence,14 which are articulated in Change the Story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia:

  • Tolerance for, and the condoning of, violence against women.
  • Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life.
  • Rigid gender roles and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity.
  • Male peer relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women.

Reinforcing/ Contributing Factors in Family Violence

Many of the factors underlying or contributing to family violence are serious health and social problems in their own right. These include alcohol and illicit drug use, male peer relations that condone aggression and disrespect towards women, and poverty that gives rise to relationship conflict and poor parenting.

Male violence against women and children is primarily the result of a violence- supporting culture and gender inequality in broader society. This violence can be triggered in families by daily economic and social pressures as a result of housing affordability stress, travel to work time and social isolation; often in combination with a alcohol and drug misuse. However, family violence is never excused by any of these factors15.

The Scale of the Problem

Every week, at least one woman is murdered in Australia by her current or former partner. Interpersonal violence contributes to more preventable death, disability and illness for women between the ages of 15 – 44 in Victoria than any other preventable risk factor, and men’s violence against women is present in all parts of society16. Whilst violence against women occurs in a variety of settings, it most commonly occurs in the home.

The City of Casey has a significant family violence problem. For the past five years, the City of Casey has consistently had the highest number of reported family violence incidents among all Victorian municipalities. Casey also has the highest number of reported family violence offences with the presence of alcohol. More broadly, Casey consistently ranks among the highest areas for police calls for alcohol-related offences.

In addition, the city has the highest population of any local government area in Victoria and is one of the fastest growing and increasingly culturally diverse regions in Australia, with approximately 314,000 residents. The City of Casey is forecast to grow to 514,800 by 2041.17 Currently, on average, 7,300 people move to Casey each year (140 people per week) and this annual number is expected to grow.

Casey is adjacent to the Cardinia Shire and provides many services used by the rapidly growing Cardinia population. The numbers of people in Cardinia has been increasing at several times the Victorian rate since 2002 and this high level of growth is forecast to continue through to 2022 at an average annual growth rate of 4.61%.

Cardinia also has a relatively youthful population, with 23.1% of the population aged under 15. In addition, Casey has a high level of cultural diversity, with over 28% of people born in a non-English speaking country, predominantly India and Sri Lanka, and 31% speaking a language other than English at home. 0.5% of the total population (1,621) identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Casey and Cardinia both cover large geographical areas. With many new suburbs being developed, limited infrastructure and poor public transport have become significant problems for local residents. Equity of service access, including for family violence, is a challenge for the City of Casey. In addition, there are access issues for residents and additional pressures placed on service providers from surrounding shires including the Shire of Cardinia and The City of Greater Dandenong.

Casey has a relatively youthful population, with more than 37% of residents aged under 25, and two thirds aged under 45. Growth is largely driven by young families who have chosen Casey because it offers lower cost housing than inner Melbourne areas. Many families have high mortgages and average incomes, making them vulnerable to increasing interest rates and other living costs.

The Shire of Cardinia reports increasing concern with the lack of social housing and increasing rates of primary and secondary homelessness18. With unemployment rates sitting especially high in Cranbourne North and Cranbourne West, the City of Casey poses a significant risk of additional homelessness and social housing crises.

The rate and numbers of children in low-income, welfare-dependent families is 25% across Casey and Cardinia. The rates of learning or earning among young people are particularly low, which is a risk factor for poor mental health in this group.

The City of Casey has made significant contributions to addressing the issue of family violence through response, early intervention and primary prevention strategies.

Police data provides the most localised statistics relating to family violence. In the City of Casey alone, 12 family incidents are dealt with every day by Victoria Police, which equates to 4,369 incidents per year. It is also important to acknowledge that Parliamentary research indicates that less than one third of women contact the police following a violent incident19, therefore the true rate of incidents is likely to be much higher.

There is a ripple effect of family violence on women’s and children’s relatives, friends and peer groups, workplaces and communities. Women who are experiencing family violence are at risk of poverty, dislocation, social isolation and loss of community.

Children’s exposure to domestic and family violence affects their behaviour at home and in their community, their learning and behaviour at school, their cognitive development, mental and physical wellbeing. The transgenerational consequences of family violence include economic hardship, drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness, which have a compound effect over time.

Table 1 demonstrates the rates of reported family violence incidents within the City of Casey per 100,000 people, with comparisons to the Southern Metropolitan Region and Victoria. Note; This data captures domestic incidents of physical and sexual violence, it does not capture all incidents of gender-based violence. These figures are not inclusive of non-disclosure, nor of data collected by family violence service providers.

Table 1: Comparative family violence rates 2011-2016 (see attached PDF)

Figure 4 below illustrates these rates visually, demonstrating that the City of Casey has a consistently higher rate of family incidents per 100,000 in comparison to the Southern Metropolitan Region in Melbourne, and to Victoria overall.

Figure 4: Family incident rates per 100,000 recorded by Victoria Police. (See attached pdf)

Policy and Legislative Context

Legislation, policies and programs have been developed in Victoria and more recently, nationally, to address the drivers that are underlying or contributing to violence against women.

Australia has a significant commitment to the prevention of violence against women at federal, state/territory and regional levels. This commitment is expressed in a number of plans and strategies, and these provide an important foundation for the City of Casey’s Prevention of Family Violence Strategy and Action Plan.

At a state level, Victoria is in the midst of a significant scaling up of efforts to prevent violence against women with funding of $1.9 billion announced in the 2017 State Budget for investment in family violence services and reform, and the establishment of the Family Safety Victoria agency – Respect Victoria.

The 2015 Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence was an acknowledgement of the seriousness of family violence and its consequences for individuals, families and communities. Recommendation 94 of the Royal Commission Final Report requires that Local Government Councils “report on the measures they propose to take to reduce family violence and respond to the needs of victims” in preparing their municipal public health and wellbeing plans (MPHWPs). This new requirement is aimed at increasing the focus on family violence prevention and response at a local level and applies to 2017-2021 MPHWPs.

In May 2017 Victoria released the first state-wide primary prevention strategy, Free from Violence: Victoria’s strategy to prevent violence and all forms of violence against women. The strategy is focused on changing social norms, structures and practices that condone family violence and all forms of violence against women. The action plan, 2018 – 2021, puts this strategy into practice with a series of short and long-term initiatives to build the infrastructure and systems to prevent family violence. It recognizes that the most common form of violence against women is closely linked to gender inequality. Therefore, much of the work of the action plan is about supporting sustained positive change in gender relations.

As part of family violence reform in Victoria, in 2017, The Department of Premier and Cabinet released a Diversity and Intersectionality Framework. This is aimed at ensuring that prevention initiatives, services and justice responses will be accessible, inclusive, non-discriminatory and responsive to diverse groups. It recognizes the diversity of the Victorian population, and that while family violence occurs across all cultures and communities, some groups are at greater risk, and face greater barriers to reporting violence and accessing services. Many people experience social isolation, which exacerbates the risk and impact of family violence. This underlines the importance of ensuring that strategies and action plans are designed for diversity and inclusion.

These groups include Aboriginal communities; cultural, linguistic and faith communities; people with a disability; people experiencing mental health issues; older people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender-diverse and intersex people; women in or exiting prison/forensic institutions; people who work in the sex industry; people living in regional, remote or rural communities; male victims; and adolescents and young people.

Building on the Koolin Balit Aboriginal Health Strategy (released in 2012) and evaluation findings, the Korin Korin Balit-Djak Aboriginal Health, Wellbeing and Safety Strategic Plan 2017 – 2027 is the current plan with vision and actions for key issues affecting Aboriginal people in Victoria. The Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum is working with the government to strengthen family violence reforms to produce a new Aboriginal 10 year plan that will be aligned to Ending family violence: Victoria’s plan for change.

Preventing violence and injury is also one of six priority areas in the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2015-201920, that councils are required to give regard to when preparing their MPHWP.

At a regional level, the City of Casey is a signatory to ‘Preventing Violence Together – A Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region’22 - a region-wide strategy for the prevention of violence against women and their children. It explains the causes of violence against women and makes a case for collective action in the region. It was developed by Women's Health in the South-East (WHISE) in consultation with 28 organisations in the region, including community and women’s health services, local government (including the City of Casey), primary care partnerships, and key health organisations.

Further detail about the policy context is available in Appendix 1.

All of these policy documents have relevance for the City of Casey and should be used to inform programs and initiatives arising from this strategy. Investments should be assessed against their potential to advance these reforms in the City of Casey.

Building On Our History Of Working To Prevent Family Violence

The City of Casey has identified family violence as a key priority for the community which has resulted in some innovative work, highlighted below:

Primary Prevention

The City of Casey was the first amongst a small number of Councils to begin to address the issue of Preventing Violence Against Women from 2004. The issue was identified and prioritised for action by the (former) Safer Casey Partnership – a strategic partnership of Council to address safety issues within the municipality. Since this time, a number of initiatives have progressed to prevent violence against women.

Challenge Family Violence Project 2013- 2015

This project was delivered by a partnership between the City of Casey, Cardinia Shire, City of Greater Dandenong and Monash Health. One component of the model focused on equipping and supporting influential male community leaders to prevent violence against women by promoting respect, non-violence, gender equity and challenging sexism, male privilege and aggressive masculinity within their sphere of influence.

The other component of the model focused on faith leaders. A resource was developed to enable faith leaders to have discussions about family violence prevention within their faith communities, and to effectively identify and challenge systems, structures, attitudes and beliefs that can contribute to family violence.

Promoting Peace in Families Project 2007-2009

This project provided a model for faith communities to be actively involved in the prevention of violence against women. The model included sermons, studies, policies and training to equip faith leaders to address the issue within the faith setting. The Promoting Peace in Families won an Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award from the Attorneys-General Department in 2009.

Casey Men’s Action Team

This consists of men in leadership positions within Council who provide education and support within the organisation for the implementation of strategies to raise awareness about the prevention of violence against women.

Advocacy

In 2016, the City of Casey partnered with local Victoria Police to object to Victoria’s licensing regulator about the establishment of a new Dan Murphy liquor outlet in Cranbourne East. The submission argued that in a locality that experiences high levels of alcohol-related behaviour including family violence, there are likely to be negative effects on individuals and communities from another large retail alcohol outlet. Casey is now working with six other Councils, police and welfare groups in Melbourne’s south-east to advocate changing licensing laws so that the social impact of alcohol can be considered in planning applications.

International Women’s Day

Council supports an internal annual event on March 8th to celebrate International Women’s Day. From 2018, this event will involve the community.

White Ribbon Day

This annual event on November 25th is for Council staff to take the White Ribbon Oath, increase awareness of the issue of family violence, and acknowledge the achievements of women. Partnerships have been established with Council corporate partners, encouraging contractors to demonstrate leadership. Visible messages are displayed on banners, Cleanaway trucks and through public events.

Male leaders are encouraged to apply to become White Ribbon Ambassadors to develop male leadership in the organisation around family violence prevention. Male leaders challenge other men to evaluate their attitudes and behaviours toward women.

Promoting female leadership within our community

Council is committed to promoting and celebrating female leadership both within the City of Casey staff and throughout our community.

Banners

Following a collaborative project between the Communications and Safer Communities Departments, banners promoting Casey’s stance against family violence have been erected in October 2017 across the municipality. “Casey Says No to Family Violence” banners will be displayed across the municipality during November for White Ribbon Day and the 16 days of activism which follow.

Applied Gender Analysis Training

Training is provided to Council staff to increase knowledge and skills to apply a gender lens over services, policies and programs.

Local Laws: Early Intervention Model

City of Casey’s Local Laws was the first local government within Australia to respond to the link between family violence and animal abuse. A ground-breaking model was developed which included:

  • Training for Local Laws officers to understand family violence and identify risk.
  • Establishing referral pathways.
  • Partnerships developed with the local Police Family Violence Unit.
  • Policies and standard operating procedures updated to respond to the issue.
  • Supporting housing of animals at risk during periods of family relocation following family violence incidents.

This model has been presented to over 200 Local Laws officers across Victoria and won an LGPro Award for Excellence in 2014.

Maternal and Child Health Service: Prevention, Identification and Response

The Maternal and Child Health Service identify women who are at risk or are currently experiencing family violence. All staff are required to ask at their initial contact with the family, or when it is deemed appropriate to do so, whether there are any concerns in regard to family violence. If this is identified as an issue, the staff member will complete a Safety Plan with the family members involved and refer on to appropriate services such as the Enhanced Maternal and Child Health Service or other Family Violence agencies.

All families receive a copy of the Family Violence Resource Card at their first contact visit which is then placed in the child’s ‘green book’. This card contains information of what is family violence, the types of family violence and where the person can receive help.

Baby Makes 3

Baby Makes 3 is community-based program designed to assist first-time parents to adapt to the demands and expectations of parenthood and promotes equal and respectful relationships during the transition to parenthood.

The City of Casey offers Baby Makes 3 to all new parents through the Maternal Child Health Service, in partnership with ParentZone.

Council supports its own staff from across the organisation, to be facilitators of the Baby Makes 3 program, as part of its corporate social commitment to community volunteering.

Our Action Plan for Preventing Family Violence

Local councils offer a key platform for:

  • Supporting community action.
  • Fostering collaboration and innovation.
  • Development and implementation of community strategies designed to address family violence.

An internal Action Plan accompanies this Strategy, designed around seven Guiding Principles and five Strategic Directions that build on these Council roles to prevent family violence.

Seven Guiding Principles

  1. Every person who lives, works and visits Casey deserves to feel safe, and safety for women and children is paramount.
  2. We will ensure a safe and inclusive community that includes people being safe in their homes, workplaces and educational institutions.
  3. Our local leadership means a commitment to addressing family violence at multiple levels of decision-making across all council business units.
  4. Our community facilities are inclusive environments that promote gender equity.
  5. We will use evidence informed data and programs to address violence against women and children.
  6. Our planning will integrate actions to reduce family violence across Council, agencies and the community.
  7. We will work in partnerships to demonstrate leadership in resourcing and coordinating of strategies with our partners across a spectrum of services and settings.

Five Strategic Directions

These five strategic directions are directly linked to taking action on the causes of family violence and the four key drivers detailed in Section 3.1 of this document from Change the Story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia22.

Community Participation Programs

  • We will support programs that promote and encourage women and girls’ participation in community life in the City of Casey.
  • We will provide programs that strengthen positive, equal and respectful relations between and among women, men, girls and boys.

Partnerships to Foster Collaboration

  • We will establish effective partnerships across government and non-government agencies and engage in mutually reinforcing activities to prevent family violence.

Community Engagement and Action

  • We will mobilise and support Casey communities to address the social norms that make family violence acceptable in their communities.

  • We will take action on tackling rigid gender roles and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity and address broader community-level factors contributing to family violence.

Council Leadership

  • We will strive to demonstrate that the City of Casey is a violence prevention leader by fostering strong organisational and community cultures for the prevention of family violence, through leadership, planning, operational actions and building of capacity internally and externally.

Research and Advocacy

  • We will undertake strategic advocacy at the Commonwealth, State and local levels that support and promote the prevention of family violence.
  • We will undertake research, monitoring and evaluation of our policies and programs for their impact on the causes of family violence, to ensure continuous improvement.

Administrative Updates

It is recognised that, from time to time, circumstances may change leading to the need for minor administrative changes to this document. Where an update does not materially alter this document, such a change may be made administratively. Examples include a change to the name of a Council department, a change to the name of a Federal or State Government department, and a minor update to legislation which does not have a material impact.

However, any change or update which materially alters this document must be by resolution of Council.

Review

The next review of this document is scheduled for completion by 30 May 2022

Breaches

Nil

Appendix 1- Policy Context

Australia has a significant commitment to the prevention of violence against women at federal, state/territory and regional levels. This commitment is expressed in a number of plans and strategies, and these provide an important foundation for the City of Casey’s Prevention of Family Violence Strategy and Action Plan.

At a state level, Victoria is in the midst of a significant scaling up of efforts to prevent violence against women with funding of $1.9 billion announced in the 2017 State Budget for investment in family violence services and reform, and the establishment of the Family Safety Victoria agency.

The States and Territories in partnership with the Commonwealth of Australia have established the organisation, ‘OurWatch’, to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children. OurWatch is providing national leadership to prevent all forms of violence against women and their children. In 2015 Our Watch launched ‘Change the Story, A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia23.

At the Commonwealth level, the National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children24 was launched in 2010 and is a 12-year plan that runs to 202225. The Plan is being implemented through four three-year action plans. The third of these action plans26 was released in 2016.

The 2015 Royal Commission into Family Violence of the Victorian Government was an acknowledgement of the seriousness of family violence and its consequences for individuals, families and communities. The government has accepted all 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission and committed to their implementation27. The Victorian plan released in 201728, includes a 10-year investment plan and a primary prevention strategy, and details the desired outcomes of key family violence reforms including:

  • Family violence and gender inequality are not tolerated.
  • Victim survivors, vulnerable children and families, are safe and supported to recover and thrive.
  • Perpetrators are held to account, engaged and connected.
  • Preventing and responding to family violence is systemic and enduring.

Preventing violence and injury is also one of six priority areas in the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2015-201929, that councils are required to give regard to when preparing their MPHWP.

At a regional level, the City of Casey is a signatory to ‘Preventing Violence Together – A Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region’30 - a region-wide strategy for the prevention of violence against women and their children. It explains the causes of violence against women and makes a case for collective action in the region. It was developed by Women's Health in the South-East (WHISE) in consultation with 28 organisations in the region, including community and women’s health services, local government, primary care partnerships, and key health organisation.

Footnotes

  1. Local Government Gender Equity Fact Sheets. Key Concepts and Definitions. http://www.mav.asn.au/policy-services/social- community/gender-equality/gender-equity-factsheets/Pages/default.aspx
  2. United Nations (1993). Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. Geneva.
  3. United Nations (1993), Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.
  4. OurWatch. 2015. Change the Story. A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence. , p 69. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/cedaw.pdf, particularly the United Nations (1992) Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, General Recommendation No. 19.OurWatch. 2015. Change the Story.
  5. A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence. https://www.ourwatch.org.au/what-we-do/national-primary-prevention-framework
  6. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
  7. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/
  8. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/
  9. City of Casey Council Plan 2017-2021.
  10. Preventing Violence Together – A Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region’
  11. Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse & University of New South Wales. The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children: A Literature Review, 2011
  12. Campo, M. (2015). Children's exposure to domestic and family violence: Key issues and responses(CFCA Paper No. 36). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia information exchange, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  13. Korin Korin Balit-Djak - Aboriginal Health, Wellbeing and SafetyStrategic Plan, available at https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/korin-korin-balit-djak, State of Victoria, Australia, Department of Health and Human Services, August 2017
  14. OurWatch, ANROWS and VicHealth 2015. Change the Story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, OurWatch, Melbourne, pg 26
  15. Key messages for the Challenge project. 2015. City of Casey and partners.
  16. ANROWS, retrieved from https://d2c0ikyv46o3b1.cloudfront.net/anrows.org.au/s3fs- public/151022%20Horizons%201.1%20PSS.pdf
  17. id profile, retrieved from https://forecast.id.com.au/casey
  18. Shire of Cardinia. 2015. Housing and Homelessness Fact Sheet.
  19. Parliament of Australia, Measuring domestic violence and sexual assault against women: a review of the literature and statistics, retrieved from http://www.aph.gov.au/about_parliament/parliamentary_departments/parliamentary_library/publications_archive/a rchive/violenceagainstwomen
  20. Victorian Government. 2015. Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2015–2019, Melbourne.
  21. Women’s Health in the South-East. 2015. Preventing Violence Together – A Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region.
  22. OurWatch, ANROWS and VicHealth 2015. Change the Story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, OurWatch, Melbourne, pg 26
  23. Our Watch, 2015, Change the Story. A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, P17
  24. Australian Government Department of Social Services, https://www.dss.gov.au/women/programs- services/reducing-violence/the-national-plan-to-reduce-violence-against-women-and-their-children-2010-2022 25 The National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, 2010 – 2022, FAHCSIA
  25. Australian Government Department of Social Services, https://www.dss.gov.au/women/programs- services/reducing-violence/third-action-plan. Canberra.
  26. Victorian Government 2016. Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change. Melbourne.
  27. Victorian Government 2016. Free from Violence: Victoria’s Strategy to Prevent Family Violence and All Forms of Violence Against Women; State of Victoria (Department of Premier and Cabinet) 2016.
  28. Victorian Government. 2015. Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2015–2019, Melbourne.
  29. Women’s Health in the South-East. 2015. Preventing Violence Together – A Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region.
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