The 17th of October 2022 was the Government’s official launch of the next ten-year National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children (2022 to 2023).
The National Plan provides the foundation for a whole-of-society approach to end gender-based violence – including domestic, family and sexual violence – in one generation.
It represents a shared commitment across all levels of government to issues such as prevention, early intervention, responses to victim-survivors and perpetrators, as well as recovery and healing.
Among its key principles are “advancing gender equality” and “closing the gap”. There is a welcome acknowledgement of the role that deeply embedded problems – such as women’s inequality and the ongoing impacts of colonisation – have in shaping violence in our society. There is also a commitment to a specific set of actions addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s experiences of violence under a separate action plan.
This plan also includes a much greater emphasis on intersectionality. This refers to recognising and addressing the multiple inequalities that individuals face, such as by gender, race, Aboriginality, sexuality, gender diversity, and ability.
The plan also commits to three more specific “action” plans. Two of these are separate five-year action plans that will outline specific activities under the national plan. The first of these is due to be released in 2023. A third is a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan. In implementing these action plans, there will be an opportunity to ensure potential gaps such as online forms of harassment and abuse, labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, and abuse of children are addressed.