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COAG Domestic Violence Stakeholders’ Meeting

COAG 2018 Logo, FADVAN, Domestic Violence Stakeholders’ Meeting


COAG Domestic Violence Stakeholders’ Meeting

4 October 2018 – 9:30 – 11:30am



Regional areas:
  • More services are required in regional areas


LGBTIQA+ communities
  • For the first time ever, LGBTIQA+ communities are being seriously considered in terms of responses to family and domestic violence
  • Services/funding for LGBTIQA+ family and domestic violence is virtually non-existent in most states and territories
  • More needs to be done both by mainstream DV services and through more specialised, nuanced responses
  • More research is required
  • “Nothing for us without us”: co-design of support is important to ensure it is appropriate to the LGBTIQA+ communities


Women with disabilities
  • DV services need to engage more closely with women with disabilities to ensure support is inclusive, appropriate and accessible
  • The most recent data is lacking and inaccurate. For example, it suggests that women with disabilities experience DV at similar rates to women without disabilities, but previous evidence has highlighted that 90% of women with intellectual disabilities have experienced domestic/family violence or sexual assault
  • Current services need to improve in how they support women with disabilities


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
  • The Fourth Action Plan (2019-22) will incorporate greater inclusivity of ATSI women
  • Data collection (both for ATSI women and more generally) needs to be improved
  • We need more services to support ATSI youth who have experienced family violence, and to prevent future perpetration of violence


Culturally and Linguistically Diverse women
  • This was the first conference/symposium where the CALD delegate felt that she didn’t need to fight to be heard. There was instead unity and a higher level of understanding from delegates around matters of intersectionality for CALD/ATSI/LGBTIQA+ people and for women with disabilities
  • We must do more to understand de-colonisation and to ensure we demonstrate it in our work
  • Intersectionality must occur beyond the domestic violence sector, and we must also break down barriers between DV services and other sectors to improve our responsiveness to CALD (and other) communities
  • Co-design is crucial with CALD communities. We must remember as well that CALD communities are diverse and we need to engage with all communities, not just some
  • Services must adapt strength based approaches when supporting CALD women


Sexual assault
  • Historically we have focused on domestic violence, and to a lesser extent family violence, and virtually ignored sexual assault in many of our conversations around this broader topic. This symposium was the first time where family violence, domestic violence and sexual assault were all explored with equal levels of attention
  • We must look at sexual assault as an issue outside of relationships and outside of adulthood. Only 40% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by an intimate partner of the victim, and the key demographic for sexual assaults is among 10-19 year olds (thus these sexual assaults generally aren’t perpetrated by a partner)
  • We must ensure that our responses to sexual assault are targeted appropriately. For example, if 60% of sexual assaults are occurring outside of a current or previous relationship, is it really appropriate to focus our efforts on sexual assault from intimate partners?
  • Requests for sexual assault counselling via Yarrow Place have doubled (it was unclear over what period of time), but reporting of sexual assault to police is declining. We need to find out why
  • We need to ensure there are pathways to justice for victims (these will be varied based on what the victim is seeking)


Other comments
  • Premier Steven Marshall is committed to seeing change happen
  • The symposium had a high focus on actions being taken
  • We must be inclusive of all forms of violence against women in everything that we do
  • Safety first responses are absolutely paramount
  • Primary prevention and early intervention remain important priorities
  • We need more men involved in responses to domestic violence. This relates to men working in the field (especially in men’s behavioural change programs), CALD/ATSI/LGBTIQA+ men being included in the development of specialist services, and men who have used violence/perpetrated sexual assault being listened to in order to fine tune our responses to be as impactful as possible
  • We must ensure that men are accountable for their actions in the perpetration of domestic/family violence and sexual assault
  • Lived experience must be drawn upon more in regards to how programs are designed (ie co-designed models of support). It’s not good enough for workers/researchers/policy makers alone to make decisions
  • We need to pay more attention to abuse against older women, including elder abuse
  • We must work to seek “report cards” from governments regarding the National Plan and to hold governments to account about what actions they’re taking

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