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Fiona's Story

Fiona McCormack
Message from the Family Violence Steering Committee

When the Royal Commission into Family Violence handed down its report, a sense of hope began to build.

Many of us have worked for years in a constrained and under resourced system.

We understand what it means to look family members in the eye when their daughters, sons and mothers are killed. And we know that the non-physical forms and impacts of family violence have profound effects on the health and wellbeing of victim survivors. 

Perhaps now we can start to allow ourselves to imagine a society free of violence.

We have worked together before; we have worked with governments before. But in coming together as Victoria’s Family Violence Steering Committee, we sense a renewed energy and focus; this could be the turning point Victoria has been waiting for.

We know that in order to address family violence in the community there needs to be a trusted partnership between the family violence sector, government and the community – working together to implement all the Royal Commission’s reforms.

We will work in partnership with the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our society to find solutions and community-led responses. Together we will work to strengthen families and communities.

This is an incredible opportunity.

Family violence is preventable. A key focus on prevention must be central to our response.

The Royal Commission into Family Violence helped to identify important gaps, such as the absence of children’s voices and the need to better respond to the richness of Victoria’s diverse communities.

Victorian families are diverse and come in many forms and we acknowledge that violence in all its forms occurs in all types of family situations. The new system will be designed for this diversity.

We are working with victim survivors to create a less fragmented system, built to share the burden and tilt the focus to the perpetrator of violence. Specialist expertise will be embedded into services across the state.

A victim survivor’s right to safety will supersede a perpetrator’s right to privacy, enabling information to be shared across the system in new and potentially transforming ways.

Perpetrators must be held accountable by the whole community and we must focus our attention on their behaviour and its impact.

These significant changes are complex and evolving, but we are determined to see them through to build an enduring model for the future.

We stand with all Victorians to end family violence.

This core aim must transcend politics and political cycles.

This is generational reform.

The Family Violence Steering Committee provides advice and leadership to government on the family violence reform agenda. The committee includes representatives from the family violence sector, community organisations, courts and police.