Royal Commission into Family Violence related research

Members of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre have been engaged on a range of research projects emerging from the Findings and Recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV).

Our work towards realising the recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence includes:

Review of the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS)

Recommendation 5 of RCFV

The FVISS, which commenced in early 2018, is a significant and integral part of the reforms recommended by the RCFV. The legislation establishing the scheme requires an independent review within two years. In 2017 the MGFVPC team were contracted by Family Safety Victoria to conduct the Review. There are a number of phases to the Review. The final Review report will be tabled in Parliament in 2020 and will consider any unintended adverse effects of the scheme, as well as make recommendations to improve the operation of the scheme.

This Review is scheduled for completion in mid-2020. The Final Report will be tabled in Parliament.

Review of the Family Violence Common Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (CRAF)

Recommendation 1 of RCFV

In 2016 the team completed a review commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Review of the CRAF was the first recommendation of the RCVF. This cornerstone project was implemented within extremely tight timelines (1 April 2016 - 30 June 2016). The Review required multiple ethics approvals and engagement with stakeholders across Victoria. Participants included family violence victims/survivors, Victoria Police and key government and non-government stakeholders. Working collaboratively with networks and stakeholders across the Victorian family violence sector, the team secured the participation of over 1,100 people from over 125 organisations and relevant workforces.

The Final Report made 27 recommendations, providing a major platform for the redevelopment of risk assessment and management in Victoria.

Review of Minimum Standards for Men’s Behaviour Change Programs

Recommendation 91 of RCFV

In early 2017 the Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the team to conduct a consultation and review of the Minimum Standards for the effective delivery of MBCPs. This project entailed a review of existing minimum standards, an examination of all Australian states’ MBCP minimum standards and a review of international best practice.

This work, with a complete set of newly drafted standards, was completed in August 2017.

Review of the Victoria Police Digitally Recorded Evidence in Chief – Family violence trial

Recommendation 58 of RCFV

In early 2018 Victoria Police contracted the team to conduct a process and outcome evaluation of the Trial of Digitally Recorded Evidence in Chief - Family Violence. The evaluation will assist to ensure that the use of digitally recorded evidence in chief by police will improve the experience for victim/survivors, contribute to the more effective and efficient administration of justice in family violence proceedings and avoid adverse impacts for all stakeholders including victim/survivors and relevant workforces. It will inform the future use of digitally recording family violence victim statements beyond the trial period.

The Final Report for this independent review will be tabled in Parliament in 2020.

Evaluation of Taskforce early intervention for family violence (U-Turn) program

Recommendation 93 of RCFV

In 2019 members of the team conducted an evaluation of the Victorian early intervention for family violence program (the U-Turn program) run by Taskforce.

The U-Turn program, developed by Victorian service provider Taskforce is an innovative early intervention for family violence targeted at family violence perpetrators who also have identified alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) issues. This research aims to produce a useful evaluation which provides insight as to whether this new program is effective in increasing victim safety and reducing repeat court contact for men subject to their first family violence intervention order and who have AOD issues. This evaluation provides evidence for the benefits and challenges associated with integrating family violence and AOD treatment for perpetrators to generate future directions for perpetrator interventions addressing the needs of family violence perpetrators who also display AOD misuse.

Members of the MGFVPC have also been represented on key governance structures and committees set up in response to the recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.

This includes:

  • Professor Jude McCulloch was appointed in 2016 to the Victorian Government’s Prevention of Family Violence Standing Committee.
  • Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon was appointed in 2016 to the Victorian Special Minister of State’s Expert Advisory Committee on Perpetrator Interventions. The Committee delivered its Final Report to the Government in 2018. Access that Committee’s Final Report via the No to Violence website here.
  • Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon was appointed in 2018 to the Inaugural Board of Directors of Respect Victoria. Respect Victoria is an organisation dedicated to the primary prevention of all forms of family violence and violence against women.