The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032
On 17 October 2022, the Australian, state and territory governments released the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 (National Plan).
The National Plan is the overarching national policy framework that will guide actions towards ending violence against women and children over the next 10 years.
It highlights how all parts of society, including governments, businesses and workplaces, media, schools and educational institutions, the family, domestic and sexual violence sector, communities and all individuals, must work together to achieve the shared vision of ending gender-based violence in one generation.
The purpose of the National Plan
Violence against women and children is a problem of epidemic proportions in Australia. One in 3 women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15, and one in 5 has experienced sexual violence1. On average, a woman is killed by an intimate partner every 10 days2. Rates of violence are even higher for certain groups, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women3. All Australian governments are united in their commitment to addressing the unacceptable rates of violence in our communities.
The National Plan outlines what needs to happen to achieve the vision of ending violence in one generation. This includes building the workforce and strengthening data collection systems. It also includes increasing accountability for people who choose to use violence, and providing person-centred and holistic responses to support victim-survivors through their recovery and healing.
The National Plan sets out actions across four domains:
- Prevention – working to change the underlying social drivers of violence by addressing the attitudes and systems that drive violence against women and children to stop it before it starts.
- Early intervention – identifying and supporting individuals who are at high risk of experiencing or perpetrating violence and prevent it from reoccurring.
- Response – providing services and supports to address existing violence and support victim-survivors experiencing violence, such as crisis support and police intervention, and a trauma-informed justice system that will hold people who use violence to account.
- Recovery and healing – helping to reduce the risk of re-traumatisation, and supporting victim-survivors to be safe and healthy to be able to recover from trauma and the physical, mental, emotional, and economic impacts of violence.
A product of collaboration
The National Plan has been developed and agreed by Commonwealth, state and territory ministers with responsibility for women’s safety.
The National Plan is a product of a collaborative consultation process that has included:
- the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence
- the Statement from Delegates from the 2021 National Summit on Women’s Safety, as well as feedback captured through all sessions at the Summit
- key findings from the public consultation and targeted workshops and interviews (including with victim survivors)
- Advice from the National Plan Advisory Group and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council on family, domestic and sexual violence
- Respect @ Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020); Set the Standard: Report on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces (2021) and the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at the Australian Universities (2017)
- the existing evidence base, including Change the story; Changing the picture; Changing the landscape; and the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices): Securing our rights securing our future report (2020).
The consultation engaged with over 3,000 individuals through various mediums, including public surveys, workshops and interviews.
The National Plan reflects the valuable feedback from victim-survivors, advocates, advisory groups, and family, domestic and sexual violence service providers. Input was also provided from business and industry, community organisations and the general public.
The National Plan builds on the first National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
Clear actions to implement the National Plan will be outlined in two underpinning 5-year Action Plans and a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan, that will detail the Commonwealth, state and territory government investment and efforts towards implementation.
Development of the Action Plans is underway, with the first five-year Action Plan expected to be released in early 2023.
The Government has also committed to developing a future standalone First Nations National Plan to address the unacceptably high rates of violence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children experience.
The National Plan and its supporting documents will soon be available in Easy read, Braille, Auslan and language translations.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2016 Personal Safety Survey (PSS), ABS, Australian Government, 2017.
- B Serpell, T Sullivan and L Doherty, Homicide in Australia 2019–20, Statistical Report no. 39, Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), 2022, doi:10.52922/sr78511.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018, catalogue number FDV 2, AIHW, Australian Government, 2018, doi:10.25816/5ebcc144fa7e6.