About the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor
The Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor (the Monitor) was formally established in 2017 as an independent statutory officer of the Parliament after the Royal Commission into Family Violence released its report in 2016. The role is responsible for monitoring and reviewing how the Victorian Government and its agencies deliver the family violence reforms as outlined in the government’s 10-year implementation plan Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change.
On 1 August 2019 former Victorian Corrections Commissioner, Jan Shuard PSM, was appointed as the Monitor under section 7 of the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor Act 2016. Jan took up her role on 2 October 2019, replacing Tim Cartwright APM, the inaugural Monitor.
The Monitor’s 2021–2022 plan was developed through a process of consultation with government and sector stakeholders. Topics were selected that aligned areas of greatest interest and concern to sector stakeholders, with reform implementation activity outlined in the government’s second Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020–2023. In determining topics, the focus was on areas where an independent perspective could add the most value to the ongoing reform effort.
Topics selected for monitoring throughout 2021 and 2022 are:
- accurate identification of the predominant aggressor
- family violence reform governance
- early identification of family violence within universal services
- primary prevention system architecture
- Aboriginal-led primary prevention and early intervention
- crisis response model for victim survivors
- service response for perpetrators and people using family violence.
In undertaking our monitoring, the following cross-cutting themes are examined across all topics:
- children and young people
- Aboriginal self-determination priority communities such as LGBTIQ+, people with disabilities, rural and regional, criminalised women, older people and refugee and migrant communities
- data, evaluation, outcomes and research
- service integration.
Monitoring of the selected topics is based on information gathered through:
- consultations with government agency staff
- consultations with community organisations and victim survivor groups
- site visits to service delivery organisations (where possible within coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions)
- attendance at key governance and working group meetings
- documentation from implementation agencies, including meeting papers and records of decisions by governance bodies
- submissions made to the Monitor in 2020 by individuals and organisations (many of these are available in full on the Monitor’s ).
Engaging victim survivors in our monitoring
We are also actively seeking to include user experience and the voices of victim survivors in our monitoring. The office is working with established groups including the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, Berry Street’s Y-Change lived experience consultants, and the WEAVERs victim survivor group convened by the University of Melbourne.
The Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor would like to thank the following stakeholders for their time in monitoring this topic:
- Berry Street
- Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare
- Court Services Victoria
- Crime Statistics Agency
- Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
- Department of Justice and Community Safety
- Drummond Street
- Elizabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women’s Service
- Family Safety Victoria
- Federation of Community Legal Centres
- Flat Out Inc
- Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre
- Humphreys, Professor Cathy – The University of Melbourne
- InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
- Kertesz, Dr Margaret – The University of Melbourne
- Law and Advocacy Centre for Women
- No to Violence
- Reeves, Ellen – Monash University
- Safe and Equal (formally known as Domestic Violence Victoria and Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria)
- Sentencing Advisory Council
- St Kilda Legal Service
- Switchboard Victoria – Rainbow Door
- The Orange Door staff
- Women’s Legal Service Victoria
- Women with Disabilities Victoria
- Victims of Crime Helpline
- Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council Chair and Deputy Chair
- Victoria Legal Aid
- Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
- Victoria Police
We also thank and acknowledge the victim survivors who shared their personal stories of misidentification directly with us, and to those whose stories we heard through the agencies representing them. These stories have strengthened our monitoring of this topic and have helped shine a light on the points in the system that need improvement. A number of these stories are highlighted throughout the report, with names changed to protect individuals’ privacy. These stories reflect the women’s accounts of their experiences.
Reviewed 22 February 2022