The Violence Against Women and Children Strategy Group (VAWC Strategy Group), Crime Department, has a principle role to provide support and advice to all police employees regarding family violence.
Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence
The Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence was launched by the former Chief Commissioner of Police, Simon Overland at 10.00 am on 10 December, 2010.
The police response to and investigation of family violence is governed by this Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence, applicable legislation and the Victoria Police Manual. Police action will be consistent with the Victoria Police Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.
Victoria Police initially developed this Code of Practice as part of the Victorian Government's initiatives to reduce family violence and in response to the recommendations of the Victoria Police Violence Against Women Review, and launched the Code of Practice in August 2004. This second edition of the Code of Practice reflects the significant changes in the Victorian integrated family violence system, including legislative change through the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (FVPA) and more particularly, the strengthening of police responses through the learnings of the last six years.
It continues to complement and support Victoria's family violence reform focused on an integrated system response to family violence by detailing the options available to police and how those options are implemented to assist in breaking the cycle of family violence.
It also embraces the ideals of the Victoria Police Strategic Plan 2009-2014: The Way Ahead. People have the right to feel safe and be safe in their personal environments. Family violence can have a devastating effect on all family members, especially children.
Victoria Police regards family violence as extremely serious and often it is criminal behaviour. The nature of violence in family relationships is seen as particularly insidious because it is an abuse of trust. There is often a continuing threat to the victim's safety or their life, or the lives of their children and sometimes to extended family members.
When police are responding to calls for assistance in family violence matters they acknowledge that it is complex by nature and undertake to treat all victims with dignity and respect.
The aims of this Code of Practice are to:
- Increase the level of safety for all victims of family violence, particularly women and children
- Provide early intervention and disruption to break the cycle of family violence
- Hold perpetrators of family violence accountable for their behaviours by laying criminal charges where appropriate, including for contraventions of family violence intervention orders (FVIO) and family violence safety notices (FVSN); and by increasing successful prosecutions
- Minimise trauma experienced by families during the process of police intervention
- Support Affected Family Members (AFM) to stay safely in their own homes where it is their wish to do so
- Encourage reporting of incidents of family violence
- Achieve good practice through an appropriate, consistent, transparent and accountable response and investigation of family violence
- In partnership with other agencies, government and non-government, support an integrated response to family violence.
Living Free from Violence - Upholding the Right Strategy
Victoria Police Strategy to reduce Violence Against Women and Children 2009-2014
Former Chief Commissioner, Simon Overland launched Living Free From Violence - Upholding the Right Victoria Police strategy to reduce Violence Against Women and Children 2009 - 2014 on Wednesday, 25 November, 2009.
This strategy demonstrates a public commitment by Victoria Police to improve our response to victims of family violence, sexual assault and child abuse over the next five years. This includes a more effective response to perpetrators with decisive action and best practice investigative techniques that will ensure improved outcomes at court for victims.
Victoria Police has committed to key action areas and performance measures by which we will be held accountable, and these are outlined in the strategy.
Violence Against Women and Children Strategy Group (VAWC Strategy Group)
Level 6, 452 Flinders Street
Phone: 9611 8800