Victorian Women’s Health Services Network Outline Recommendations for Federal Expert Panel on Preventing Violence Against Women

Women's Health in the South East (WHISE)

The Women’s Health Services across Victoria acknowledge the Federal Government’s decision to appoint an expert panel to conduct a rapid review on preventing violence against women. This step aligns with our commitment to ending violence and fostering a safer, more equitable society.

“The Federal Inquiry and Expert Panel Rapid Review present an opportunity to address the pervasive issue of violence against women. We are prepared to contribute our expertise to this review, with the goal of identifying and implementing effective prevention strategies,” said Tricia Currie, Chair of the Women’s Health Services Network.

To ensure the review’s effectiveness, the Network has outlined key recommendations that need to be core to the expert panels work and recommendations. These are:

  • Fully deliver and resource the “Change the Story” framework, integrating it with well-resourced early intervention, response, and recovery/healing interventions and recognising that it encompasses the role of intersectional barriers in gendered violence.
  • Design coordinated and mutually reinforcing interventions to reduce violence rates and comprehensively evaluate their impact.
  • Clearly define different types of interventions to ensure appropriate funding and resourcing.
  • Address the gendered drivers of violence, including intersecting factors of marginalisation, oppression, and discrimination.
  • Maintain a universal approach to primary prevention while complementing it with targeted strategies for hard-to-reach groups.
  • Consult and learn from primary prevention practitioners delivering gendered violence prevention activities on the ground.
  • Respect the voices of those with lived experience of violence to inform the inquiry’s findings and recommendations.
  • Provide significant and sustained funding for primary prevention initiatives without diverting resources from response and early intervention efforts.
  • Incorporate trauma-informed approaches in all prevention and early intervention strategies.
  • Address the role of industries such as alcohol and gambling that exacerbate gendered violence through targeted regulatory and policy interventions.
  • Promote ongoing research and evaluation to adapt strategies based on emerging evidence and changing social dynamics.

“Various stakeholders in the field of primary prevention have made valuable contributions,” said Ms Currie.

“This inquiry provides an opportunity to strengthen our collective efforts, guided by the belief that collaborative, evidence-based strategies are essential for creating a society free from violence and inequality.”

“The Victorian Women’s Health Services Network is prepared to contribute their expertise to the Federal Inquiry and Expert Panel Rapid Review. A well-resourced and evidence-based approach is necessary for making progress in preventing violence against women and creating a safer society for all”, concluded Ms Currie.

The full set of hopes and expectations from the Victorian Women’s Health Services for the expert panel can be found here:

About the Women’s Health Services Network

The Women’s Health Services Network has been a driving force progressing and shaping Victoria’s women’s health and equality space for four decades. While our services were established and funded independently of one another, collaboration has been a strong part of our history. Today, the 12 women’s health services funded through the state government’s Victorian Women’s Health Program collaborate under the title the ‘Victorian Women’s Health Services Network’. This enables us to work as a coordinated, mutually-reinforcing statewide network comprising both place-based and specialist services.

/Public Release.