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Agencies need to change response to family violence

The Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC) says agencies must take more responsibility for the safety of family violence victims, rather than expecting victims to keep themselves safe from abusive partners.

The FVDRC’s Fifth Annual Report calls for a number of changes to how both government and non-government organisations (NGOs) respond to family violence, to reduce the rate of violence, abuse, and deaths.

The report says:

  • there is a need to stop asking victims to keep themselves safe from abusive partners – practitioners need to proactively make sure victims are safe
  • practitioners need to provide long-term assistance to victims rather than one-off safety advice
  • there must be more focus on the person using violence, in addition to the victim – changing the behaviours of those using violence is the most effective way to prevent family violence
  • violence must be recognised as being not just physical – it is also carried out through control, coercion, and intimidation. These behaviours trap victims.

The report also identifies how the family violence workforce – including the justice, child protection, and mental health and addiction sectors – can be strengthened and work together better.

Read the news item and the full report on the Health Quality and Safety Commission website here


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