Policies, plans & strategies 2010 - 2017

 

Family & Domestic Violence

National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010-2022

The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 was released on 15 February 2011 and provides the framework for action by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments to reduce violence against women and their children.

The National Plan is being implemented via four three year action plans. The Second Action Plan (Moving Ahead 2013-2016) was released on 27 June 2014.

See the links below for further information about the National Plan and Second Action Plan including new initiatives, resources and progress reports.

National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022
Second Action Plan (Moving Ahead) 2013-2016

Third Action Plan

The Third Action Plan 2016-2019 is the halfway point of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. The Third Action Plan outlines what all governments, communities, individuals and businesses can do to reduce violence against women and their children. The Third Action Plan sets out 36 practical actions, across six priority areas, to be undertaken over the next three years.

The Third Action Plan is part of a long term commitment by governments to work together to change Australia’s attitudes to, and tolerance for violence against women and their children. It outlines what all governments, communities, businesses and individuals can do to reduce violence against women and their children. It sets out 36 practical actions, across 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

Fourth Action Plan 2019-2022

The Fourth Action Plan 2019-2022 is expected to see the delivery of tangible results in terms of reducing the prevalence of violence against women and their children and increasing the proportion of women who feel safe in their communities.

Third Action Plan 

Women's Health

National Women's Health Policy 2010

The Government’s National Women’s Health Policy 2010 aims to improve the health and wellbeing of all women in Australia, especially those at greatest risk for poor health. The policy builds on the foundation of the first National Women’s Health Policy: Advancing Women’s Health in Australia which was released in 1989. The policy adopts a dual priority approach that recognises the importance of addressing immediate and future health challenges while also addressing the fundamental ways in which society is structured that impacts on women’s health and wellbeing. It reflects the equal priorities of:

  • Maintaining and developing health services and prevention programs to treat and avoid disease through targeting health issues that will have the greatest impact over the next two decades; and
  • Aiming to address health inequities through broader reforms addressing the social determinants of health.

There is no funding attached to the implementation of this policy.

The policy can be found at:

National Women's Health Policy 2010

 

Reports & Research 2006 - 2017

Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Women 

Hearing Her Voice 2015 

The Department of Social Services

The report, Hearing Her Voice, summarises the findings of 29 ‘kitchen table’ conversations with women from over 40 ethnic and cultural backgrounds across Australia. The ‘kitchen table’ conversations enabled CALD women to talk about issues of domestic and family violence and sexual assault. Discussions focussed on issues and challenges, community involvement, the role of government, engaging CALD men and practical ideas to reduce violence against CALD women.

Read the Hearing Her Voice Report


Domestic & Family Violence

Reducing Violence Against Women & Their Children 2015

The Department of Social Services

The Australian Government released research into attitudes that can lead to violence against women. The research, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), shows that although most Australians agree domestic violence is wrong, too often we blame the victim, excuse men and minimise disrespectful behaviours and instances of gender inequality. The research was conducted with young males and females aged 10-17 and their influencers - these included parents, siblings, teachers, sporting coaches, managers and community leaders across Australia.

According to the research, many of us learn from an early age to condone or excuse disrespectful or aggressive behaviour towards girls and women.The Government will use the research to inform the development of a $30 million national campaign, due to begin early next year, to reduce violence against women and their children.

Read the Report 

Screening for domestic violence during pregnancy: options for future reporting in the National Perinatal Data Collection 2015

Australian Institute for Health & Welfare

This report discusses barriers to, and opportunities for the collection of data on screening for domestic violence during pregnancy. It proposes options for data collection through the National Perinatal Data Collection, which includes data about every woman who gives birth in Australia. The work is part of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Maternity Data Development Project.

View the Report


Housing & Homelessness

Domestic and family violence and homelessness 2011-12 to 2013-14 (2015)

Australian Institute for Health & Welfare

Domestic and family violence causes considerable disruption to the lives of Australian families, with many affected seeking alternative accommodation and falling into homelessness. Between 2011–12 and 2013–14, the AIHW identified 520,000 Australians who accessed specialist homelessness services (SHS). Of these, over one-third were adults and children seeking assistance for reasons of domestic and family violence. Nine in 10 adult clients (aged 18 and over) seeking assistance for domestic and family violence were female.

The complexity of domestic and family violence situations requires continued support over long time periods. Domestic and family violence clients received, on average, more days of support than other SHS clients (136 days compared with 92 days of support, respectively). Alarmingly, 20% of domestic and family violence clients ended their support with no shelter, couch surfing or no tenure and a further 20% were in short term accommodation.

Within the domestic and family violence SHS population 6 prominent client groups were identified. The characteristics of these client groups, their service needs, and outcomes following support are described in this report. Children under the age of 15 are not included in the analysis.

Read the Report

Gender equality and violence against women: What’s the connection? (2014)

Australian Institute of Family Studies

The perpetration of men's violence against women is understood to be a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women. But unravelling the link between gender inequality and male perpetration of violence against women requires a multi-dimensional perspective.

Prevention efforts have focused on gender inequality as the problem, but in striving for improvement, there is no existing model of gender equality to aspire to or to demonstrate the end product. There is also a lack of research and data around whether some aspects of gender equality are more important than others in preventing violence, and how the gender power imbalance works with disadvantage in other social categories such as race and class. These add further complexity to the issue of gender equality.

Read the Report  

Women, Domestic and Family Violence and Homelessness: A Synthesis Report 2008 

Flinders Institute for Housing, Urban and Regional Research for the Office for Women Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

This report investigates the support and accommodation needs of women (and children) affected by domestic and family violence. It finds that there is no one pathway into homelessness for all women affected by domestic and family violence and thus no one solution to domestic and family violence related homelessness. A range of prevention and intervention initiatives are recommended as part of an integrated approach to addressing domestic and family violence, and violence related homelessness. The report finds that two types of assistance are critical in terms of supporting women affected by domestic and family violence:

  • provision of safe, secure and affordable housing; and
  • provision of a continuum of individualised and open-ended support, including outreach services, that wraps around women and their children in a range of areas (therapy, health, life skills, housing assistance et cetera) for as long as they need it.

The Report concludes that it is imperative that accommodation and the range of support services required by women affected by domestic and family violence (counselling, health care, therapeutic services and income support) are well integrated, individualised, ongoing and open-ended.

 Read the Report


Sexual Violence 

The nature and extent of sexual assault and abuse in Australia 2012 

Australian Institute of Family Studies

This ACSSA Resource Sheet summarises the available statistical information about the nature and extent of sexual assault and abuse in Australia. It draws on Australian data sources, and provides information on the prevalence of sexual violence as well as characteristics of victimisation and perpetration. Because sexual assault and abuse are significantly under-reported this Resource Sheet describes the limitations associated with these collections. It also describes how we can use data that examine sexual victimisation in high-risk populations.

Read the Resource Sheet


Status of Women

Report of the Australian Government Delegation to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women - 2015

The report provides a detailed account of the delegation’s participation at CSW59. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (the Commission) is the principal global policy making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women and girls. Every year, representatives of United Nations (UN) Member States gather at the UN Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.

The main focus of the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) was the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing Declaration), including discussions on current challenges that affect its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, was created in July 2010, and became operational on 1 January 2011.

The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing marked a significant turning point

for the global agenda for gender equality. The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries, is an agenda for women’s empowerment and considered the key global policy document on gender equality. It sets strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern:

  • Women and poverty
  • Education and training of women
  • Women and health
  • Violence against women
  • Women and armed conflict
  • Women and the economy
  • Women in power and decision-making
  • Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
  • Human rights of women
  • Women and media
  • Women and the environment
  • The girl-child.

In the lead up to CSW59 the Commission undertook a review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration.

Read the Report

Tracking equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia 2013

Council of Australian Governments

The COAG Reform Council has played a critical role in tracking progress, nationally and on a state-by-state basis, against the COAG reform agenda. The council has analysed and publicly reported on governments’ performance against outcomes, performance indicators and targets agreed by COAG. However, until 2013 gender analysis was not directly incorporated in the assessment of governments’ performance. The council's first report on gender, Tracking equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia, redressed this omission.

The COAG Reform Council has played a critical role in tracking progress, nationally and on a state-by-state basis, against the COAG reform agenda. The council has analysed and publicly reported on governments’ performance against outcomes, performance indicators and targets agreed by COAG. However, until 2013 gender analysis was not directly incorporated in the assessment of governments’ performance. The council's first report on gender, Tracking equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia, redressed this omission.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is working towards national equality in opportunities for economic and social participation, good health, and a safe and secure living environment. This report examines whether women and girls are benefitting from COAG's national reforms. It compares outcomes by gender, focusing on education and training outcomes and post-school study and work prospects; participation in the labour force and pay equality; health outcomes and service use; the need for and use of homelessness services; whether women with disability receive support for economic and social participation; and the contribution of women as carers, and the impacts of caring on economic participation and wellbeing. The study was unable to examine closely the impacts of domestic and sexual violence: known key factors affecting women’s health and other outcomes.

The report finds that despite girls achieving equity or even surpassing boys in school literacy, as well as Year 12 and higher qualification attainment, gaps remain in workforce participation and representation in leadership roles; with implications across women’s life spans, with lower overall pay and smaller superannuation savings for women at retirement. It also reveals that low socio-economic areas see fewer women attaining post secondary and tertiary qualifications.

Tracking equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia

Australia’s combined sixth and seventh report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women July 2003–July 2008

Australia ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) over 25 years ago on 28 July 1983. As a long-standing party, Australia has continued to implement substantial policy and legislative changes, demonstrating the Australian Government’s commitment to eliminating discrimination against women. This combined 6th and 7th periodic report builds on previous reporting on CEDAW and outlines Australia’s progress and the challenges that remain in implementing CEDAW.

1.3 This report covers key legislative, policy and other measures adopted in the review period, from September 2003 to June 2008. It includes reporting from the Australian Government and the state and territory governments and should be read alongside Australia’s Common Core Document, June 2006 (HRI/CORE/AUS/2007) and Australia’s Combined 4th and 5th Report on the Implementation of CEDAW (CEDAW/C/AUL/4-5) submitted in 2003.

1.4 In accordance with Article 18 of CEDAW, this report responds, wherever possible, to the CEDAW Committee’s 2006 Concluding Comments (CEDAW/C/AUL/CO/5) on Australia’s combined 4th and 5th report. In response to the CEDAW Committee’s request in paragraph 9, the 2006 Concluding Comments were distributed to all relevant Australian Government agencies, all state and territory governments and to the Australian women’s sector through the National Women’s Secretariats. They were also posted on the Australian Government Office for Women website.

Australia’s Combined 4th and 5th Report on the Implementation of CEDAW 


Data & information

BreastScreen Australia monitoring report 2012-2013 (2015)

Australian Institute for Health & Welfare

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Australian women and the  second-most common cause of cancer related death. In 2012, 1,126 women aged 50-69 died from breast cancer, which is equivalent to 44 deaths per 100,000 women. BreastScreen Australia aims to reduce illness and deaths from breast cancer through early detection of unsuspected breast cancer, which enables early intervention. The BreastScreen Australia monitoring report 2012–2013 presents the latest national statistics in the monitoring of BreastScreen Australia, which aims to reduce illness and death resulting from breast cancer through organised screening to detect cases of unsuspected breast cancer in women, thus enabling early intervention.

According to the report, released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), more than 1.4 million women aged 50-69 had a screening mammogram through BreastScreen Australia in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. More than half (around 55%) of women targeted over this period (women aged 50-69 years) participated in BreastScreen Australia. Participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was significantly lower (36%) than for other women in the target group in 2012-2013.

Among remoteness areas, the highest participation rate was seen in Outer regional areas, at about 59%, compared with 53% in Major cities and 47% in Very remote areas.

There was little variation in participation across socioeconomic groups, with all groups ranging between around 52% and 56%.

While this report uses the target age group of 50-69, from 1 July 2013 the target age group of BreastScreen Australia was expanded to women aged 50-74 years. Future reports will provide statistics on this expanded target group.

BreastScreen Australia monitoring report 2012–2013


ABS Personal Safety Survey (2012)

Australian Bureau of Statistics

In December 2013 the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the results from the 2012 Personal Safety Survey. The survey collected data about the nature and extent of violence experienced by women and men since the age of 15, including their experience of violence in the past 12 months. Key survey findings include:

One in three Australian women (34 per cent) have experienced physical violence since the age of 15

  • One in five Australian women (19 per cent) have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15
  • One in four Australian women (25 per cent) have experienced emotional abuse by a partner since the age of 15
  • One in five Australian women (19 per cent) have experienced stalking in their lifetime.

While data relating to emotional abuse is a new addition to the survey, the rates of physical and sexual violence, and stalking have not changed significantly since the release of the 2005 Personal Safety Survey.

ABS Personal Safety Survey (2012)