Victoria Police has launched its five year vision and strategic plan to address family violence, sexual offences and child abuse.
Policing Harm, Upholding the Right: Victoria Police strategy for Family Violence, Sexual Offences and Child Abuse 2018-2023 marks the next stage of Victoria Police's reform agenda, building on previous work to combat violence against women and children, who are the predominant victims of these crimes.
The strategy takes an integrated approach to responding to family violence, sexual offences and child abuse, in recognition of the links between these crime themes and the cumulative harm their co-occurrence causes.
Our vision is that 'Victoria Police plays an integral role in reducing, and ultimately preventing the harm caused by perpetrators of family violence, sexual offences and child abuse, by holding perpetrators to account and improving the safety and wellbeing of all victims'.
Policing Harm, Upholding the Right sets out four strategic priorities for reform to achieve this:
- victim safety – service delivery improves the safety and wellbeing of victims
- offence and offender management – perpetrators are actively managed and held accountable
- child safety is front of mind
- our people – a capable and safe workforce
Each strategic priority has specific objectives to focus police efforts, key actions forming a two-year rolling action plan to further reform and organisational performance measures to identify trends that will help assess progress.
Policing Harm, Upholding the Right unveils a range of initiatives and commitments, including that from 2018 the existing Family Violence Units across the state will transition to Family Violence Investigation Units (FVIUs) with dedicated detectives and intelligence practitioners embedded into the teams.
Victoria Police has also committed to enhancing its child safety and wellbeing focus in initial police responses and investigations, especially in the context of family violence. A range of initiatives have been identified to help achieve this:
- including evidence-based criteria for children in family violence risk assessments
- broadening the use of video and audio recorded evidence (VARE) in interviewing children when responding to family violence
- implementing a statewide Enhanced Response Model for Child Sexual Exploitation
- developing and implementing a child sexual exploitation offender characterisation tool
Other commitments outlined include:
- strengthened risk-assessment practices and associated responses
- establishing the Centre of Learning for Family Violence to deliver career-long training tailored to rank, role and accountabilities
- expanding Koori Family Violence Police Protocols to additional locations
- broadening Whole Story Investigative Framework training for detectives on the nature of the offending relationship
- trialling the use of body worn cameras to collect secondary evidence and victim statements from family violence incidents
In line with the VEOHRC Independent review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour in Victoria Police, the organisation will also improve responses and practice to respond effectively to perpetrators and victims of family violence, sexual offences and/or child abuse who are Victoria Police employees.
- Magistrates Court see their family violence pages and films
- Victims of Crime Help Line (7 days, 8am-11pm) 1800 819 817
- Victoria Legal Aid (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) free telephone advice in a range of languages 1300 792 387
- Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre (24 hours) for women and children 1800 015 188 or 9322 3555
- Men's Referral Service (Mon-Fri, 8am-9pm) support and referral for men 1300 766 491
- Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24 hours) 1800 806 292
- Child Protection Service DHHS (24 hours) 131 278
- Housing (24 hrs) statewide referral for emergency housing 1800 825 955
Reviewed 26 March 2019