Violence is described as any violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour where a domestic or family member hurts a person or causes fear.
The violence tends to be committed by people in positions of relative power within a relationship against more vulnerable individuals with the consequence that women, children, older adults and people with disability are at higher risk of such abuse.
The abuse can occur in all types of relationships, including young couples, older couples, older people or people with a disability and their carers, same sex relationships and heterosexual relationships.
I am proud to present a proposal for a Regional Domestic & Family Violence Strategy 2020.
This strategy is founded on a strong regional commitment to promoting gender equality and preventing as well as responding to family abuse through Council’s services, programs and advocacy.
Our Council’s priorities, decisions and policies are guided by its Corporate Plan.
This strategy will provide the framework for Council and its community partners to create a respectful, safe and inclusive place for everyone in our community.
Council’s strategy will acknowledge the seriousness and prevalence of family violence in our region.
It’s critical for Council to acknowledge that addressing family violence requires a whole-of-community response and seeks to engage committed partners to achieve long-term positive outcomes for: children, young people, older people and people with a disability, women and girls, men and the community.
Two key documents, will inform Council’s approach:
Queensland Social Survey 2018, Domestic and Family Violence Survey Report, and the Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019
This strategy will promote actions to:
• Prevent family violence before it occurs
• Support residents of the region
Women make-up the majority of victims of family violence.
We also know that children are directly affected by the family violence that happens in their homes.
All of us have a role to play to prevent violence against women and family violence.
Research into the causes of family violence demonstrates that we can help by reducing gender inequality – that is, the unequal treatment of a person based on their gender.
The role of Council is in promoting gender equality and preventing family violence within their local government areas was acknowledged in Change the Story – a shared framework for the prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia.
Through the application of this proposed Strategy Council will focus on developing projects to promote community safety and address violence such as;
An Active Fathers Project will aim to strengthen families at the early stages of parenthood.
Council will seek to provide a coordinating role for access to housing for people escaping violence in the home through a Preventing Homelessness Grant.
Council will also establish a Housing and Social Issues Advisory Committee with an appointed safety leadership team of expert local community organisations and individuals are who convened to advise and guide Council’s approach.
Council’s Regional Domestic & Family Violence Strategy 2020 will acknowledge that local leadership as well as local partnerships are required to create the cultural change that is needed.
In our region we are already fortunate enough to have the support of committed community partners our new strategy will provide for more opportunities for these as well as new community partners to join this important effort.
Moreton Bay Regional Council will work in partnership with the community to create a respectful, safe and inclusive places for women, children and families.
This will be achieved by:
• Local leadership, advocacy, capacity building and partnerships to promote women’s and girls’ participation in public and private spheres; fostering gender equity in our organisation and services; and
• Creating inclusive and safe community settings.
The purpose of the Regional Domestic & Family Violence Strategy 2020 is to provide a framework for Council actions, which acknowledges Council’s local leadership role..
Strategy Implementation and Review
An implementation plan will be developed in consultation with key Council business units and community partners to confirm actions, responsibilities, timelines, budget requirements and outcome measures.
Where funding beyond the existing budget is required external funding sources will be explored.
The implementation plan will include types of action identified as proven or promising techniques to promote primary prevention, such as:
• direct participation programs;
• community strengthening;
• organisational development;
• communications and social marketing;
• civil society advocacy.
Council will be committed to learning through ongoing monitoring and a formal evaluation at the end of the strategy’s lifetime to review outcomes and issues for future consideration.