Loddon Campaspe CLC welcomes the commencement of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, which came into being on the 24th of February.
Under the leadership of the Honourable Marcia Neave AO, the Commission will examine the largest preventable contributor to mortality and morbidity for Australian women under 45 years of age. It will provide its report and recommendations to government in early 2016.
The Commission’s Terms of Reference recognise that both men and women can be perpetrators or victims of family violence but that overwhelmingly the majority of perpetrators are men and the majority of victims are women and children. We welcome the recognition of the gendered nature of family violence and concur with the Commission’s premise that responding to family violence is a shared responsibility.
The Terms of Reference recognise the complex causes of family violence and the Commissioners won’t shy away from examining gender inequality, negative community attitudes towards women and contributing factors such as financial pressures, alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness and social and economic exclusion.
The Commissioners will examine the opportunities for prevention, early intervention, victims support and perpetrator accountability, as well as opportunities around the integration of government and community services.
The Commission will deliver practical recommendations on how Victoria’s family violence arrangements can be improved. Short, medium, and long-term recommendations will focus on opportunities for establishing a culture of non-violence and gender equality. Recommendations will consider the needs of Indigenous communities and people from diverse cultures as well as the needs of people living with a disability and those living in metropolitan and regional and rural communities.
Loddon Campaspe CLC looks forward to presenting a submission to the Royal Commission that will focus on the particular issues facing regional and rural women escaping family violence, in part based on the research undertaken as part of our Why didn’t you ask? project.
Image courtesy of the Royal Commission.