The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022
Domestic and family violence and sexual assault are crimes that must be stopped. In Australia, around one in three women has experienced physical violence, and almost one in five has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
That is why the Commonwealth, state and territory governments worked with the community to develop a 12-year National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan).
Released in 2011, the National Plan explains what we are doing to reduce violence against women and their children. Its vision is that:
- Australian women and their children live free from violence in safe communities.
Over 12 years the National Plan aims to achieve:
- A significant and sustained reduction in violence against women and their children.
The National Plan focuses on the two main types of violent crimes that have a major impact on women in Australia–domestic and family violence and sexual assault. Research shows there is a strong link between violence against women and their children and how people view the roles of women and men. The National Plan focuses on stopping violence before it happens in the first place, supporting women who have experienced violence, stopping men from committing violence, and building the evidence base so that we learn more about ‘what works’ in reducing domestic and family violence and sexual assault.
These changes take time, which is why we need a long-term plan. Each of the four Action Plans build on each other over 12 years, and are designed so that we can look back at what has been achieved and refocus on what actions will make the most difference in the future.
To learn more about what is being achieved as part of the National Plan, download our most recent eNewsletter.
The Fourth Action Plan 2019-2022
The Commonwealth Government is leading the development of the Fourth Action Plan 2019-2022 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) in partnership with state and territory governments.
The Fourth Action Plan, due for release in 2019, is the final action plan of the National Plan.
Fourth Action Plan consultations
National consultations with stakeholders to inform the development of the Fourth Action Plan began in mid-July and will continue until October 2018.
Information captured from the Fourth Action Plan consultations will also support discussions on reducing violence against women at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Summit in Adelaide in October 2018.
The Department of Social Services has developed responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the development of the Fourth Action Plan, including questions sent to the FourthActionPlan@dss.gov.au mailbox and those raised at the Fourth Action Plan consultation workshops. The FAQs will continue to be updated and published on the website throughout the consultation period.
The Third Action Plan 2016-2019
The Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) was launched on Friday, 28 October 2016 by the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.
What is the Third Action Plan?
The Third Action Plan sets out an ambitious agenda that, with the support of key stakeholders and the community, will substantially reduce domestic, family and sexual violence in Australia.
It is the halfway point of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan), our 12-year strategy to drive generational change.
The Third Action Plan builds on the the work undertaken in the First and Second Action Plans to help keep women and children safe and help improve outcomes for the future generations.
It outlines 36 practical actions within the following six national priority areas, to be undertaken over the next three years:
- National Priority Area 1: Prevention and early intervention
- National Priority Area 2: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children
- National Priority Area 3: Greater support and choice
- National Priority Area 4: Sexual violence
- National Priority Area 5: Responding to children living with violence
- National Priority Area 6: Keeping perpetrators accountable across all systems
The Third Action Plan is part of a long commitment by governments to work together to change Australia’s attitudes to, and tolerance for violence against women and their children. It shows what we can do together to support, sustain and move forward our efforts to reduce violence against women and their children.
Together we – governments, organisations, the community and individuals – can reduce domestic and family violence.
How was it developed?
The Third Action Plan was informed by extensive consultation with over 400 key stakeholders and experts across Australia, through national workshops and roundtables, convened between March and May 2016. The Third Action Plan was also informed by the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children and various state and territory inquiries, consultation processes and significant reports, including the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland and the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. Information and evidence collected through an evaluation of the National Plan’s Second Action Plan 2013-16 and independent reviews of existing programs and services further supported development of Third Action Plan priorities and actions.
Additional Third Action Plan fact sheets
- Third Action Plan: Background Information
- Fact Sheet: How the Third Action Plan Supports Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women and their Children
- Fact Sheet: How the Third Action Plan Supports Women With Disability
The Second Action Plan 2013-2016
The Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) was launched on Friday 27 June by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. For further information view the Second Action Plan media hub.
What is the Second Action Plan?
The Second Action Plan: Moving Ahead 2013-2016 (the Second Action Plan) is an important step forward for the National Plan. The Second Action Plan was released on 27 June 2014 and will build on the First Action Plan to channel efforts towards ongoing and new priorities, and broaden communication and consultation mechanisms to engage more sectors, groups and communities.
To develop the Second Action Plan, national roundtables were held in February 2014 that were attended by around 100 experts and organisations. An independent scribe’s report was developed following the roundtables to summarise the key themes and areas of discussion. Over 50 written submissions were also received. During 2013-2014, consultations were undertaken with key stakeholders across governments, civil society, and the broader community about particular actions under the National Plan. These included Our WATCh, ANROWS and work around perpetrators of violence.
The Second Action Plan contains five National Priorities and 26 actions, which are joint areas of work that all governments agree are critical to moving ahead in reducing violence against women and their children. These are:
- National Priority One: Driving whole of community action to prevent violence
- National Priority Two: Understanding diverse experiences of violence
- National Priority Three: Supporting innovative services and integrated systems
- National Priority Four: Improving perpetrator interventions
- National Priority Five: Continuing to build the evidence base
The Second Action Plan recognises that domestic and family violence and sexual assault do not occur in insolation from other challenges faced by individuals and communities. The Second Action Plan will strengthen linkages with other significant national reforms to drive a holistic response to reducing violence against women and their children. This includes work addressing female genital mutilation, trafficking and human slavery, disability, homelessness, children, and settlement services for refugee and migrant women.
The First Action Plan 2010-2013
The First Action Plan: Building a Strong Foundation 2010-2013 (the First Action Plan), laid a strong foundation for long-term change. This included through the establishment of essential, national-level infrastructure to inform future policy and service delivery and to engage the community in reducing violence against women and their children.
Key initiatives established under the First Action Plan include Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), Our WATCh and The Line social marketing campaign. Innovative national services were also set up to support women who have experienced violence, such as 1800RESPECT, Australia’s first national professional telephone and online counselling service for women experiencing, or at risk of domestic and family violence and sexual assault.
Reporting and Evaluation
Monitoring and reporting progress under the National Plan is vital to ensuring the prevalence of violence against women and their children is decreasing. The National Plan also includes a commitment to evaluate the National Plan, its effectiveness and efficiency. Evaluations will cumulatively measure progress toward achieving a significant and sustained reduction in violence against women and their children by 2022.
For a detailed outline of how evaluations will be conducted, see the National Plan Evaluation Plan
- The National Plan - Easy Read version
- The Second Action Plan
- The Second Action Plan, in brief
- The Second Action Plan – Easy Read version.
Documents for the broader community:
- Brochure: The Second Action Plan
- Fact sheet: How the Second Action Plan helps Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women
- Fact sheet: How the Second Action Plan helps Women with Disability
- Fact sheet: How the Second Action Plan helps Indigenous Women
The First Action Plan 2010-2013
Evaluation and Reporting
- Progress Review of the First Action Plan
- Progress Report to the Council of Australian Governments 2010-2012
Key Historical Documents
- Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009-2021
Statistics and Research
- Bridging the data gaps for family, domestic and sexual violence
- Defining the data challenge for family, domestic and sexual violence
- Reports by the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children
More media information, including media releases, ministerial videos and speeches, is available at our Media Hub
Do you need help?
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence or sexual assault, get help by calling:
- 000 if you, a child, or another person is in immediate danger
- 1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732
- Relationships Australia – 1300 364 277
- Mensline – 1300 789 978