Women’s Health Association of Victoria welcomes the release of Victoria’s Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women and Children

9 October 2012

The Women’s Health Association of Victoria welcomes the release of Victoria’s Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women and Children.

‘This plan correctly places equal weight on preventing violence from happening, holding perpetrators to account, and supporting women and children who experience violence’, WHAV Convenor Dr Robyn Gregory said.

‘The whole-of-government commitment outlined in the plan, coupled with shared community responsibility, is essential for achieving the vision for women and children to live free from violence in Victoria.’

‘Key aspects include getting tougher on perpetrators and preventing re-offending, along with engaging organisations and communities to promote gender equity and stop violence. It is the mutually reinforcing nature of the actions outlined that will have the greatest impact.’

This plan clearly articulates the need to identify and concentrate resources on the most vulnerable women and children in society and the men most likely to use violence.

‘Violence against women is unacceptably prevalent in our community. In Victoria violence against women is the biggest contributor to ill health and premature death in women aged 15–44.

‘Women’s health services across Victoria have a vision of communities, cultures and organisations that are non-violent, non-discriminatory, gender equitable and promote respectful relationships.

‘And we know that region-specific planning works. Rather than a one-size fits all plan for prevention, the government has recognised the need to engage organisations and communities in the development and implementation of coordinated and cohesive regional action plans. This better reflects the work done to date and so the different stages of readiness in each region.

‘WHAV welcomes the task of supporting this work and commends government for acknowledging the different skills required to implement each aspect of the plan.

The focus reflects recent Cambridge University research that shows ‘strong, autonomous feminist movements were the first to articulate the problem of violence against women and the key catalysts for government action’.

‘We welcome funds allocated to prevention, intervention and response activities to date and note the government’s commitment to this plan as the foundation for a long-term vision.’

The announcement comes in the wake of last week’s state and federal commitment to the first stage of the national plan to reduce violence against women and children.

‘We look forward to implementing this plan and integrating it with existing national and regional plans such as Preventing Violence Together: Western Region Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women’ said Dr Gregory.

MEDIA: For more information contact Nicola Harte on 9689 9588 or email nicolah@whwest.org.au