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 violence within the family.
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
- 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 website.
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:
- Aboriginal Community Elders Services
- Bendigo Health
- Berry Street Y-Change Lived Experience Consultants
- Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare
- Department of Education and Training
- Department of Health
- Drummond Street
- Early Childhood Australia
- Eastern Metropolitan Regional Family Violence Partnership
- Family Safety Victoria
- Gippsland Family Violence Alliance
- Goulburn Valley Health
- Municipal Association of Victoria
- No to Violence
- Preston High School
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- The Royal Women’s Hospital
- Safe and Equal
- Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre
- Sexual Assault Services Victoria
- Seniors Rights Victoria
- Statewide Family Violence Integration Advisory Committee
- Switchboard – Rainbow Door
- Thorne Harbour Health
- Uniting Vic.Tas
- The University of Melbourne
- Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council Chair and Deputy Chair
- Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
- Victorian Council of Social Service
- Victorian Principals Association
- WEAVERs lived experience group
- Women with Disabilities Victoria.
We also thank and acknowledge the victim survivors who shared their experiences of family violence responses in health and education services. Hearing about these experiences – which are featured throughout the report, with names changed to protect individuals’ privacy – has made an invaluable contribution to our analysis.