On June 20, 2018, the Andrews Government introduced legislation to establish Respect Victoria, the state’s new statutory authority as recommended in the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The agency is the first part of the Government’s primary prevention strategy, Free from Violence, and works to address gender inequality as a root cause of family violence, to provide expert advice on best practice, and to provide quality assurance and accreditation functions.
The VLGA acknowledges the work being undertaken to change the systemic inequality in our culture that allows family violence. The Prevention of Family Violence Bill 2018 comes at a time when the Local Government Women’s Charter celebrates 21 years. The ‘Charter’ has been adopted by 72 of the 79 Victorian Councils and continues to provide a platform for gender equity work across Victorian communities. Gender stereotypes and male-dominated decision making are acknowledged as two of the drivers of violence against women. By continuously challenging those drivers and ensuring more women stand in local government elections, the Charter provides an important platform for local government in the prevention of violence against women.
We look forward to a smooth passage of the Bill in the upper house when parliament resumes.
Please attribute to Kathryn Arndt Chief Executive Officer
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Victorian Local Governance Association