Table of contents
Victoria Family Violence Legislation and Victoria Family Protection Act,2008
Australian Statistical Data
Victoria Police Responses
Support organizations for Women and children
In Victoria, the crime of family violence covers a lot of behavior, mental and physical abuse that is committed by one family member against another family member. All types of behavior that aims to control another family and create an image of fear and insecurity in the mind of another come under the light of Family violence. Different types of behavior that aims to control the other person include physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental and emotional abuse. When one person of the family intentionally destroys another family member's property, economically causing damage to a family member, and threatening a family member to do the mentioned act. An act of family violence even occurs if a child hears or see family violence. In most cases generally, women and children are the victims of family violence.
The Following report will highlight what offenses constitute family violence and the statistical data of the victims of the same. In Australia many organizations and NGOs are working for the betterment of victims of family abuse, providing them with an adequate amount of help and resources.
Family Violence legislation was enacted in the year 1980s and 1990s because there was no recognition for family assault victims and no protection was provided to the same. The legislation was framed to ensure that the safety of women and children is maximized and family violence is reduced. They also aimed to reduce the number of children getting exposed to family violence and ensuring that victims are given justice. The Primary concern for the legislation formed is protection. Guiding principles were also framed in the legislation regarding the same.
In Victoria, the Family Violence Protection Act 2008, seek to protect family members who experience family torture and provide remedies to ensure that immediate relief is available when the crime takes place This act has maximized the protection and safety of persons who is a victims of family violence. The Act serves three primary functions: - maximizing safely for women and children who have been the victim of family violence, to reduce cases of family violence and to advertise accountability of perpetrates for their actions. Section 5 of the Act defines that family violence is behavior towards a member of the family which is social. Economically, psychologically, and sexually abusive. Most of the time females and children are the victim of the same. Section 4 of the Act covers all the acts that come under or constitute domestic violence. Section 114 of the Act specifies that a person who is victim of family violence has the right to approach to the court. (government, 2008)
In 2018 as per the data collected by ABC it was found that 2 out of 5 assaults were in the context of family violence. There was a total of 93 victims of family abuse. Every 1 in 6 million, which means 17% or 1.6 million of the population have been victims of family violence. Every 1 in 4 women suffers from emotional abuse by their current or previous spouse or partner for 15 years of age. Every in 5 women has gone through sexual violence since the age of 15. Not only females even children are victims of family, domestic, and sexual violence. As per the data collected, around 1 out of 14, aged 14 and above have been the victim of physical abuse by one of the family members, irrespective of whether he is a male or a female. It is the responsibility of the State and Territory Government to provide child protection to the children who are aged below 18years of age. (AHW, 2019).
2.2 million Australians have been the victim of domestic violence from their previous partner. In the year 2017,police, recorded of 25000 sexual assault cases.(AHW, 2019)
The following table illustrates the proportion of male and female that have experienced physical or mental violence from a person since the age of 15 and above:-
Physical Abuse from a previous partner
Abuse of any type from a current partner
Emotional abuse from a previous or current partner
In. 2017-18, 1 out of 3 were hospitalised because of domestic violence from their partner as perpetrator . Between the year 2010 and 2018, the percentage of victims of sexual assault over the age of 15 years of age have been increased to 30% ( from 66.8% to 90.2% per 100000). (AHW, 2020 )
According to the Australian Institute of health and Violence that the increase in the data is because more people are coming forward and reporting their abuse. The Following data that have been issued by AIHW( Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) illustrates the proportion of people that suffer from Domestic and family assaults(Laschon, 2019):-
Victoria Police have always defined perpetrators and victims in the context of three or more members of the family suffering within a period of 12 months. When it comes to Police Actions, Victoria Police's response and actions have been framed and instructed by high-level policy documents, which prescribes and specifiers actions of the police. The current strategy of police has been made in The Victoria police blue paper: A vision for Victoria police in 2025. The report sets out the actions and strategies of the police that they will follow in response to cases reported against family violence. When it comes to the structure of the organization, Victoria police constitute an office of Chief commissioner and five executive portfolios which are as follows:-
As per the policies that have been framed by the Victorian Police, the allocation and distribution of resources are controlled at the local levels. When to comes it to positions, the Executive command takes lead for framing strategies for better direction and performance of officers working in the team. Family Violence command monitors the behaviour of Victoria police against family violence cases and guides them to improve their responses in sexual assault and child abuse cases. The work of Regional/ Divisional/ Police Service Area Command Management comprises of determining services in their region for operating models of family violence teams. They also monitor the allocation of resources and whether the duties are performed effectively or not. The quality of strong leadership at high levels of Victorian Police has been the reason for better family violence reforms and improved practice in the field of family violence cases. Family Violence command was established in Victoria police in 2015 to make a single body who looks after family violence cases and creating an effective and efficient model for Victoria Police .(The Hon. Marcia Neave AO , Patricia Faulkener AO, Tony Nicholson, 2016)
Domestic Violence Crisis Service ( DVCS) helps people who suffer from Domestic violence and fear. They provide a 24/7 helpline to the victims of family violence. Domestic violence line has female trained counsellors in the field of family violence who helps the victim in getting medical care, in obtaining an Apprehended Violence Oder, and helps in developing steps that can provide justice for the victims. West Connect Domestic Service is an organization that offers support, care, and accommodation to family violence victims. With this, they even provide special services and support to refugees, Aboriginal women, single women, old women, lesbians, and transgenders. Safe steps Family Violence Response Centre is an organization that provides telephone-based support, coupon support services, counselling someone when they have suffered trauma. They provide many other support services to children and females who have been the victim of domestic violence and sexual abuse. .(Anon., 2020)
Australian Women against Violence Alliance ( AWAVA) was established in 2010 as one of the six National women’s alliance that receives funding and grants from Australian Government .is an organization which is working on all types od violence that are faced by women to ensure that women and children are not suffering from any type of physical violence and abuse. They are even providing services in the time of Covid-19 crisis also.
NSW Women’s Alliance is a group of many non-government organisations that are working towards improving the conditions of sexual assault and family abuse in the state of Australia. NSW Government is framing its own Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint in regard to service gaps and improve responses to both victims and perpetrators. Some of the members of the organization are:-
AHW, 2019. Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence. [Online]
Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/family-domestic-and-sexual-violence
[Accessed 19 October 2020].
AHW, 2019. Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia : Continuing the national story 2019: in breif. [Online]
Available at: Link to DOI:10.25816/5ebcc837fa7ea
[Accessed 19 October 2020].
The Hon. Marcia Neave AO , Patricia Faulkener AO, Tony Nicholson, 2016. Royal COmmission into Family Violence Vol III, https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/file_uploads/3_RFV_320ppA4_ReportRecommendations_VolumeIII.WEB_9F6w0Y9c.pdf: Royal Commission into Family Violence .
Anon., 2020. Domestic Violence Support. [Online]
Available at: https://au.reachout.com/articles/domestic-violence-support
[Accessed 18 October 2020 ].
government, A., 2008. Family Violence Protection Act 2008. s.l.:s.n.
AHW, 2020 . Sexual Assaut on Australia - In Focus, s.l.: s.n.
Laschon, E., 2019. Domestic Violence Still at 'unprecedented' levels despite hundreads of millions being spent, s.l.: Australian Burea of Statistics,crime Statictics .
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