Centering Specialisation: The role of specialist services when family violence goes mainstream

11/07/2019 - 10:35 to 11/07/2019 - 12:05
Proposal(Workshop / Presentation)
Coordinating organization: 
Domestic Violence Victoria
Policy and Legislation
Organization Name: 
Domestic Violence Victoria (維多利亞州皇家家庭暴力委員會)
Proposer: Alison Macdonald
Describe your workshop/presentation (300-500 words): 
After decades of marginalisation, the Royal Commission into Family Violence (the Royal Commission) and its aftermath has shifted family violence into the political mainstream in Victoria, Australia. The Victorian Government has made unprecedented investment into fulfilling the recommendations of the Royal Commission, and significant reform to law, policy and practice is currently underway as part of a ten-year plan.

As peak body for the state’s specialist family violence services, Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) gave evidence to the Royal Commission and has been very involved in the implementation of many of its recommendations. DV Vic provides policy advice and advocacy to the Victorian Government about family violence prevention and response and plays a central role in driving innovative policy to strengthen sectoral and system responses to family violence as well as building workforce capacity and representing the family violence sector at all levels of government.

This presentation will provide our reflections on the Victorian Royal Commission, the significant government investment into the family violence system and what it means to work in an environment where the state has adopted responding to family violence as one of its highest priority social policy and criminal justice issues. We will argue that the Royal Commission represents a unique opportunity to re-articulate the role of independent, non-government, specialist, feminist organisations in responding to family violence. In particular, it creates challenges and opportunities for developing practice to respond to intersectionality.

We will explore the implications of this reform for Victoria’s FV services, and look in particular at what this change means for refuges (shelters). As author of the Code of Practice for specialist Family Violence Services, we will present on the process of developing the Code, how it aligns with the Government-driven reforms and how specialist services have led the process of defining and implementing best practice intersectional standards for responding to family violence.