Ambitious national plan aims to end family violence within a decade

Ending violence against women and children within a generation is the target of an ambitious new national plan.

Oct 17, 2022, updated Oct 17, 2022
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth. (Image: Ben Searcy)

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth. (Image: Ben Searcy)

The decade-long plan for 2022 to 2032 was unveiled by the federal government on Monday.

It’s the second national plan aimed at ending domestic violence after then-prime minister Julia Gillard released the first one in 2010.

The updated plan will focus on recovery and engaging with men and boys and stress the importance of targeting sexual violence in all settings.

Women’s Safety Minister Amanda Rishworth said the national plan brought together states and territories and community organisations in how to end violence against women.

“It will require a sustained effort … we need this sustained national focus if we’re going to have any chance at turning this, what is unacceptable levels of violence, around,” she told Sky News on Monday.

“What we’ve outlined in the plan is there’s no point putting investments in things that don’t work or that don’t push in the same direction, so it is about investment but it’s also about a change in attitudes.”

Statistics show one woman dies at the hands of her former or current partner every 10 days in Australia.

One in three women has experienced physical violence and one in five has suffered sexual violence.

Rishworth said there needed to be a change in conversations surrounding domestic and family violence.

“How often do you hear, for example, people say ‘why didn’t she leave?’ I mean, the more important question is, why does he choose to use violence against her?” she said.

“We do need to promote more respectful relationships. We do need to actually increase gender equality. All of these things play a role in actually addressing violence against women and children.”

The national plan will also focus on how gender inequality drives violence against women.

Priority areas will include prevention, early intervention and response as well as recovery and healing.

Women’s Minister Katy Gallagher said she was confident there would be additional funding set aside to help meet the goals of the national plan.

“It was important to lock this down. This has been a long time coming … there’s been a huge amount of work from the sector,” she told ABC Radio on Monday.

“Now we get on with getting those action plans in place and making sure the service system can respond and shift into … more focus on early intervention and prevention.”

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