The Salvation Army welcomes the final report of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence which was tabled in Parliament today. We commend the Victorian Government for their commitment to ending family violence and implementing all of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.
The Salvation Army works directly with hundreds of women and children experiencing family violence every year through four specialist family violence services across the state. Our frontline experience has revealed a range of systemic failures which often places the onus on women to seek help, is unable to hold perpetrators to account or provide a coordinated response between police, courts and social services that can guarantee women’s and children’s safety.
To this end we are particularly pleased to see recommendations relating to:
- Increased information sharing between police, courts, and specialist services to hold perpetrators to account and ensure women's and children's safety,
- Increased funding for specialist family violence services, including L17s, to meet demand,
- An expansion of family violence court divisions and improved court facilities to ensure women's safety,
- An expansion of Safe at Home, private rental brokerage and crisis accommodation options for women experiencing family violence and at risk of homelessness, and
- An emphasis on the needs of children experiencing family violence as well as the diverse needs of women from multicultural and Aboriginal backgrounds, women with disabilities and women who identify as LGBTQI.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence should mark a turning point for Victoria. The extent and impact of family violence on our community is devastating and can no longer be ignored or patched up with minor attention. Everyone who has contributed to this Royal Commission deserves more, including the hundreds of women who told their personal stories of family violence. The Salvation Army would like to particularly thank the seven women who contributed to our submission. Their stories and The Salvation Army’s submission can be accessed here.
The Royal Commission has been ambitious in its recommendations and clearly identifies family violence as a community wide problem that requires a community wide response. We look forward to working with the Victorian Government and the wider community as these recommendations are implemented to create lasting and systemic change that not only improves the supports available to women and children affected by family violence, but more importantly takes vital steps towards a society free from the scourge of violence.