ACT News


Natasha Stott Despoja launches 'world first' framework to address domestic violence

Australia's first national, evidence-based anti-domestic violence framework was launched at Parliament House on Tuesday.

At the launch, chair of anti-domestic violence group Our Watch, Natasha Stott Despoja, said the framework was also a world first, and that other countries were watching the Australian approach.

"We now know what it will take to end violence against women and children in Australia. [The framework] shows us how," she said.

"We must begin with gender equality and respect."

While the causes of domestic violence were complex, evidence showed it is "more likely to occur when gender inequality is ingrained in social, cultural and organisational structures and practices", Ms Stott Despoja said.



She said change was needed at all levels of society – legislation, government, policy, community and individual – and the framework would help guide the approach at each of those levels.

Changing the Story was developed by Our Watch, together with VicHealth and Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS).

More than 400 stakeholders contributed to the framework.

In Australia, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner, while one in five Australian women had experienced sexual violence and one in three had experienced physical violence.

Ninety-five per cent of violence – whether against a woman or a man – is perpetrated by men.

Ms Stott Despoja said that the ACT, Western Australia and New South Wales had not yet joined the other states and territory in partnering with Our Watch, but she issued a plea for them to do so.

VicHealth Chief Executive Officer Jerril Rechter​ said prevention would never happen in isolation. 

"Everyone has a role to play, in business, sport, community, health, planning, media and advertising and at all levels of government," she said.

The group had set goals in line with the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children of seeing a reduction in violence and an improvement in attitudes by 2022.

ANROWS CEO Heather Nancarrow said the personal safety survey would be repeated every four years, in which they would look for a "significant and sustained" reduction in violence.

They were also hoping to see change in the national community attitudes survey, which revealed the drivers behind violence against women and children.

Ms Stott Despoja, Ms Nancarrow and Ms Rechter were joined at the launch by Minister for Women Michaelia Cash, Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter and retired Lieutenant General David Morrison.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency, call 000.