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Development and Implementation of the National Plan To Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010- 2022


Violence within families is a widespread social issue that affects people at every level of society in harmful ways. As a result, the situation calls for rapid attention. The Victorian government has strict laws against family abuse, and the agency is committed to addressing family violence. The judicial system is essential in protecting family members and making abusers answerable for their acts. They take responsibility for the reaction to family violence cases and are crucial to the effort’s success (Webster et al., 2018). Everyone in the community is vulnerable to being harmed by family violence, regardless of gender, age, geography, socioeconomic or health status. Family violence is any physical or psychological abuse by a family member against other members. Males are far more likely to conduct such actions, especially against women and children. This paper examines the development and implementation of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010- 2022.

Nature and size of the problem

Several acts can contribute to family violence, including mistreatment and neglecting a child. When it comes to the root cause of violence against females and children, unequal power dynamics between sexes are to blame. This is because men are believed to be the cause of most violence. These inequalities are reinforced by gender norms and stereotypes, as well as by a cultural acceptance of violence and injustice. The most recent ABS PSS, in 2016, offered a rough estimate of the number of Australians who had been victims of family abuse (Mulayim et al., 2016). While family violence is always a highly personal and specific circumstance, men are statistically more likely to be the guilty party than women. Twenty percent of Australians have stated physical and sexual family violence. It is estimated that 11.8% of Australian adults (2.2 million) have suffered physical violence from a spouse, 5.1% (935,000) have experienced physical abuse from the people they are in a relationship with, and 6.6% (1.2 million) have had physical violence from a relative (Mulayim et al., 2016).

The Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018 estimated the monetary toll that several diseases, injuries, and other factors took on the nation’s population (Gabbe et al., 2018). While child abuse and neglect were classified as the main factors for disease burden, spouse violence was the fourth biggest threat among women aged fifteen to forty-four. Child abuse and negligence are rated third for men of the same age group (Gabbe et al., 2018). It was shown in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health that those who had suffered sexual abuse as children were more likely to have poor overall health, as well as to have despair and bodily discomfort, than women who had not (White et al., 2018). This held regardless of whether or not the abuse occurred in maturity. Long-term main, allied, and specialized health care expenses for women who had sexual, emotional, or physical abuse as children were greater than those for women who did not suffer the abuse.

From July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, 86 family homicide victims and 81 family homicide occurrences were verified by the Australian Institute of Criminology’s National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) (Hulme et al., 2019). The NHMP uses information from the police. Sixty-nine percent of family homicide victims were female. Most women murdered in their homes are killed by someone they are intimate with. According to the data, intimate partners are responsible for the deaths of 7 out of 10 male family violence victims. Hospitalized victims of family or family violence had ten times the risk of dying from an assault, three times the risk of dying from accidental poisoning or liver disease, and two times the risk of dying by suicide, according to a current (Easteal et al., 2019).

Origin and development of policy issue

The National Council’s Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children 2010-2022 was formed purposely to address the issue of family violence in Australia. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed and verified the policy. The goal of the 12-year National Plan is to ensure that yearly, fewer women are victims of violence and that more women and their kids live safely by connecting the considerable work done by Australia’s governments, community organizations, and individual Australians (Toivonen & Backhouse, 2018). The National Plan’s participating government agencies initially agreed upon six overarching National Outcomes. Included in this was a strategy for measuring the long-term performance of each outcome based on the most precise information. These outcomes include emphasizing communities that show less tolerance for violence against women and children are more likely to be safe places to raise a family (Victoria, 2017). The second outcome involves raising young people’s awareness, skills, and actions that promote respectful interactions. As a result, mutually beneficial relationships will be formed. The third outcome involves strengthening indigenous communities by dealing with reported family violence cases.

The fourth outcome of the policy is to ensure that the needs of women and children who are victims of violence are being fulfilled when indicators such as increased access to resources and receptiveness of facilities for victims of family, familial, and sexual abuse improve (Wendt 2020). The fifth outcome emphasizes that victims of sexual, family, and family violence should come forward are reported the situations. Lastly, the people responsible for family violence are held accountable, and measures are developed to avoid similar cases.

The National Plan accepted that ending family violence is a complex matter that requires a strategy that takes a long view (Sutherland et al., 2019). Therefore, the National Plan was carried out through four-act plans, each of which took three years and gradually built upon the foundation created by the preceding plan.

The recently announced Fourth Action Plan continued to advance the four main National Outcomes, which all administrations in Australia were working toward during the National Plan’s existence. Hundreds of people whose lives have been affected by violence and those working to end it were consulted for their input (Backhouse & Toivonen, 2018). The National Plan addresses family violence by outlining guiding principles that influence how all companies, sectors, and governments operate together in the implementation of the policy. This set of principles serves as a roadmap for approaching the problems.

Several top-level categories are reflected in the series of approaches required to deal with a spouse, family, and sexual violence. Solutions range from focusing on prevention to bolstering existing service and support structures. The National plan identified the significance of listening to the many lived experiences of persons whose lives have been affected by violence and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in all of their replies. Commonwealth, state, and territory governments collaborated in 2019 to create a nationwide implementation strategy (Sutherland et al., 2019). To address the national priority areas, the government detailed how they implemented measures and evaluated the results in this plan.

Social, economic, and political factors


The victorian government kept in touch with influential people and organizations regarding implementing the National Plan, particularly through the numerous advisory and consultative bodies currently in existence. Connections between the National Plan and state and territorial plans to end violence against women and children were discussed in meetings. The main social activities involved enhancing community consciousness about the problem of violence against women and children and learning from ‘what works to better serve the varying informational and logistical requirements of women and their communities (Simons & Khan, 2018). In addition, the activities motivated people to take part in the implementation of the policy.


To better understand the problem of family violence and to identify solutions to the problem, Australia has constantly invested in national confirmation and databases since 2010. The major goal of this effort is to increase the quality of data on the occurrence of family violence across all demographics. In 2020, the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a second round of the Personal Safety Survey (PSS) (Kaur & Atkin, 2018). The PSS’s mission is to collect data on the prevalence and severity of violence against Australian men and women. Quantitative and qualitative data on various demographic, communal, conservational, and financial issues. This data includes statistics on the estimated violent crime rate in areas populated by Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Theories and frameworks of the policy

Kingdon’s three streams

When discussing policymaking, the term “agenda setting” describes the procedure through which one topic is given priority over another. Although Kingdon’s paradigm was originally developed to examine issues with American public policy, its application to family violence has subsequently broadened. According to Kingdon’s approach, public policy has three aspects: the issuing stream, the policy stream, and the politics stream. “Problem stream” denotes the idea that problems are public matters that need action Herweg (Herweg et al., 2018). The policy stream consists of current research into problems and proposed solutions, as well as related conversations and debates. As a result, domestic violence is commonplace in many households in Australia. Sociologists who study domestic violence explore a wide range of factors in their investigations. They note that structural factors are not the only ones that might influence family violence and that cultural factors can be just as influential. Women and children are treated as second-class citizens in societies where male dominance is tolerated, if not actively encouraged (Zahariadis, 2019). The likelihood of women and children being violence victims is greatly raised. The perpetrators of domestic violence often take their anger and frustrations out on their families, including the victim and the victim’s children, which has been linked to economic disparities and other forms of stress. Social standards on the proper method for men to handle stress or the roles women should play in partnerships may have a role in the prevalence of family violence.

Kingdon’s concept recognizes the importance of policy “entrepreneurs” who grasp opportunities to set the agenda to get problems included in the formal agenda. These policy innovators might work in the spotlight or “behind the scenes.” The most conspicuous of these are the organized interest groups that utilize mainstream media to draw attention to a certain issue, promote one particular solution, and disseminate information from one particular perspective on that issue (Herweg et al., 2018). In this case, the advocators of the National plan contribute to developing and implementing measures that contribute to solving the family violence issue. It is possible to significantly lessen the frequency of family violence by taking several practical measures. They consist of laws, their enforcement, and various types of financial and other aid for victims.

A “focusing event” is a meaningful circumstance that generates unprecedented support for a public issue such as family violence. Through their involvement in “focused events,” advocators of the National Plan can raise awareness about family violence. Experts in the field, such as Women’s safety ministers, work primarily in the policy stream to produce and present proposals for consideration.

Policy analysis triangle

The Policy Analysis Triangle consists of four parts: context (importance of the policy), content (about the policy), process (execution of the policy), and actors (participants in the policy) (O’Brien et al., 2020). The importance of the National Plan policy is to fight against family violence. The policy is primarily about prevention rather than a reaction to dealing with violent crimes in Australian families. It helps women who have been abused, strives to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, and builds an evidence base to learn “what works” in the battle against violence against women (Abimbola, 2020). The process involved in implementing the policy is identifying family violence cases, identifying the person or people responsible for the act, and supporting the victims. Establishing measures to deal with the culprits is a warning to the communities. The Council of Australian Governments, the Commonwealth, and Executive groups influence policy formulation and implementation.

Main actors in advocating for and influencing the policy


The Commonwealth’s funding of the National Plan is targeted at strategic regions where it can make the most impact in bringing about lasting change to end family violence. The Commonwealth Government’s contribution places a premium on preventive efforts, which aim to stop acts of violence before they ever start by altering community perceptions of the problem and elevating the value of mutual regard and acceptance. Approximately $340,000,000 in Commonwealth funding has been dedicated to executing each phase in the National plan (Ellsberg et al., 2019). As well as continuing to fund programs that keep Australians safe, the Commonwealth is also tailoring its aid to the unique need of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Both of these programs express the Commonwealth’s dedication to protecting the health and happiness of all Australians (Phillips & Guthrie, 2019). The Commonwealth Government pledged to fund the creation of refuges for those escaping family or familial violence. This included investing in training for frontline and community workers to help them provide the crucial assistance they need and providing more alternative accommodation for women and children running from violence.

Two more projects to help victims of violent crime were also included in the federal budget for 2019–20. All of Family Advocacy and Support Services were hiring men’s support staff with this $7.8 million. $4,910,000 was used to help former partners of veterans who had been victims of family abuse by leveling the playing field between married and de facto couples by providing them with the Partner Service Pension for a full year after their separation (Ellsberg et al., 2019). There was a disparity since the Partner Service Pension was restricted to married couples.

National Federation Reform Council

National Federation Reform Council would be formed and host a gathering of state and territory presidents, treasurers, and representatives from the Commonwealth to discuss national federation issues, including women’s safety.


The Victorian government proved its ability to protect women and children from abuse by committing a historic venture to end family violence. The Victorian government was dedicated to achieving a future for women and men are treated equally and with respect and where there is an end to family violence in the state (Sessions, 2021). The government was actively striving to implement all 227 suggestions the Victorian Royal Commission gave to Family Violence to achieve this goal. More than $2.7 billion was invested in protecting families.

All family violence acts, including those that occur inside families, originate in society’s unequal distribution of resources and power. One of the root causes of both forms of violence is a disparity in power between men and women. People in Australia needed to work together to alter cultural norms around women’s values and treatment if they wanted to see an end to violence (Lamb et al., 2022). This is why, in addition to its dedication to system reform, the Victorian government worked to enact legislation guaranteeing gender equality, investing heavily in community-focused campaigns designed to alter public perceptions of gender and violence and focusing on the intersectionality of family violence. Victoria’s Plan for Change highlights the wide-ranging reforms now being implemented in the city, but also the city’s profound dedication to ending family violence.

Policy implementation, evaluation, and challenges encountered

The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) aims to guarantee that Australian women and children may live safely and without fear of physical assault. Each state and territory in the Commonwealth is making important strides toward achieving this objective. The National Plan serves as a roadmap for their respective governments’ actions (Truong et al., 2022). In support of the National Plan, a series of action plans was developed, each covering three years. This allowed governments to adapt to changing needs and new information. The fourth National Plan action plan expanded upon the previous three plans by outlining principles, national goals, and collaborative efforts to combat intimate partners, family members, and sexual assault.

The actions to be approved by the Commonwealth, state, and territory governments are detailed in the application plan for the National Plan. Funding, milestones, outcomes, and how they relate to the goals and priority areas of the National Plan are all comprehensive. There is an extensive range of answers to family and sexual violence provided by the several programs carried out during the execution of the policy (Poulsen, 2018). The most recent data from responsible authorities in all regions have been incorporated into the National Implementation Plan. The National Implementation Plan was updated every year since different actions were implemented in all four phases, and progress had to be indicated. Every year, the National executives updated the public on where they had extended to in the accomplishment of national goals and share details on the implementation status report. In addition, as part of this procedure, the information about initiatives was revised to ensure that all the necessary information was available.

The Australian government used the results of the assessment of the National Plan to influence its future strategy for combating family violence. In the last years of the National Plan, states and territories worked together to develop a strategy for measuring the plan’s success. Individual studies evaluated significant initiatives that received financing across jurisdictions as part of the National Plan. The National Plan’s powerful concepts for holistically combatting family violence were useful. There is still more work in sectors like migration, family law, and social security to implement systemic changes and include an intersectional viewpoint in policymaking (Stark et al., 2022). Throughout the policy implementation, the executives faced the challenge of addressing only a few cases, and most family violence issues were not reported. It was proved that victims feared the worst outcomes from the culprits.


In conclusion, this paper discusses The National Council’s Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children 2010-2022. The policy was mainly formed to address the issue of family violence in Australia. The Victorian government was highly involved in purposely implementing the policy to help most victims. The discussion extends to the development of the policy, factors that influenced its development, its origin, theoretical frameworks related to the policy implementation, and advocators involved in evaluating the policy and its implementation and evaluation.


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