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Our Watch commends Family Violence Royal Commission’s focus on prevention

March 30 2016 By Lisa Wheildon, Director, Media & Communications

Our Watch, the national organisation dedicated to the primary prevention of violence against women and their children, has welcomed today’s Royal Commission into Family Violence report and commended its focus on prevention.

Our Watch Chief Executive Officer, Mary Barry, said the Commission’s recommendation that the Victorian Government adopt a prevention strategy, with dedicated funding and performance measures, as a priority component of a Statewide Family Violence Action Plan was good news.

“We are pleased that the Commission has reinforced the importance of primary prevention, and of stopping violence against women and their children before it starts by addressing the social norms and institutional practices that support and give rise to it,” she said.

“Importantly the Commission has also recognised that prevention programs are most effective when they form part of a coordinated approach.

“There’s no doubt that we will never prevent violence against women through disparate projects with short-term funding. To reduce and ultimately eliminate violence against women, we need a coherent, broadly supported strategy that can guide both policy and practice.

“What the Royal Commission has recommended today is most definitely an important step in the right direction.”

Our Watch has also welcomed the Royal Commission’s recommendation that the Victorian Government mandate the staged rollout of respectful relationships education into every government school in Victoria from Prep to Year 12. 

“The recommendation that the Government build on the evaluation of the model tested by the Department of Education and Training through Our Watch, is also good news,” said Ms Barry.

“As is the recommendation that the Government begin implementing best-practice workplace programs in all public sector workplaces and that this work should be informed by Our Watch’s Workplace Equality and Respect Project final report.

“The evidence tells us that schools and workplaces are key environments where social and cultural values are produced and reproduced, and they present opportunities for significant influence over the social norms, organisational practices and institutional structures that can drive change.”

Ms Barry said that Our Watch was conceived of and brought into existence in 2013 by the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Victoria. The Northern Territory, South Australian, Queensland and Tasmanian governments have also since become members of the organisation.

“Our Watch’s purpose is to provide national leadership to prevent all forms of violence against women and their children, and we are well placed to guide prevention work, engage policy-makers and the community in action to prevent violence against women and their children before it starts.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the Victorian Government to implement the prevention related recommendations in the Royal Commission’s report.”

Media contact:

Lisa Wheildon, Director Media and Communications, Our Watch: 0408 172 551 or lisa.wheildon@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.”

Access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children.