The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children

The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 (the National Plan)

While living safe and free from violence is everyone’s right, reducing violence is everyone’s responsibility.

Around one-in-three Australian women have experienced physical violence and almost one-in-five have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. For certain groups, this statistic may be much higher.

The National Plan brings together the efforts of governments across the nation to make a real and sustained reduction in the levels of violence against women. This plan shows Australia’s commitment to upholding the human rights of Australian women and it is the first plan to coordinate action across jurisdictions. 

The National Plan is unprecedented in the way it focuses on preventing violence by raising awareness and building respectful relationships in the next generation. The aim is to bring attitudinal and behavioural change at the cultural, institutional and individual levels, with a particular focus on young people. The National Plan has been built from an evidence base of new research and extensive consultation with experts and the community.

The National Plan sets out a framework for action over the next 12 years.  By working together and challenging the attitudes and behaviours that allow violence to occur, all Australian governments are saying a very loud ‘no’ to violence.

Help and Support

How are the governments of Australia going to do this?

The National Plan will be driven by a series of four three-year action plans.  They will support Australian governments to work together to develop, implement and report progress within a coordinated national framework.

Each Action Plan will address agreed national outcomes, while allowing states and territories to act in locally relevant and responsive ways. In addition, the Action Plans will draw on existing evidence and will aid national consistency, through the development of national benchmarks. 

Importantly, each Action Plan will also help to build the skills, systems and data for governments to improve policy making and service delivery. This is essential to governments having the capacity to work together and to support lasting change.

The First Action Plan (2010-2013) – Building a Strong Foundation, establishes the groundwork for the National Plan putting into place the strategic projects and actions that will drive results over the longer term while also implementing high-priority actions in the short term. The National Implementation Plan for the first three years, outlines how all Australian governments and the community will work together to lay the groundwork for the future and sets the scene for the first three years of the National Plan.

Details of the specific actions to be undertaken by each jurisdiction against the strategies and actions outlined in the National Plan will be provided in each jurisdiction’s implementation plan. This will include details of what actions each jurisdiction will undertake, along with when they will do it and who has responsibility for its success.  

Development of the Second Action Plan 

The Second Action Plan (2013-2016) is an opportunity to take stock, reflect on gaps, develop new actions and strengthen implementation.  It will be about building and introducing practical national initiatives to reduce violence against women and their children.

The Commonwealth Government is hosting national roundtables and inviting written submissions to inform the Second Action Plan.  

Find out more:

Further Information

Questions and Answers on the National Plan

Easy English Version

  • National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children Easy English version

National Plan Information Sheets

National Implementation Plan

  • National Implementation Plan for the First Action Plan – Building a Strong Foundation 2010-2013

Progress Reports

Statistics and Research


In May 2008, the Government established an 11 member National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. The Council’s task was to provide advice on the development of an evidence-based national plan. Below is their report

Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2009-2021

Would you like a copy of the National Plan?

The National Plan is available on the DSS website, or you can order hard copies by calling 1800 050 009.

Content Updated: 5 February 2014