Funding the fight against domestic violence: report

2 minute read + PDF download  30.04.2024 Famin Ahmed, Amanda Watt

MinterEllison has developed a report on Australian public financing of initiatives addressing domestic, family and sexual violence.

Key takeouts

  • MinterEllison presented on the Australian report at the UN Women 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, February 2024.
  • MinterEllison CEO Virginia Briggs also attended UN Women’s CSW session as a member of the Champions of Change delegation.
  • The full report, which we understand is the first of its kind in Australia, identifies that funding for initiatives addressing domestic and family violence has increased – both in volume and sophistication.

Breaking new ground in Australian research: how will the report be used?

The information in this report will be important to improving monitoring and evaluation of domestic, family and sexual violence activities in Australia and ultimately improving outcomes for the same in the future.

Our consultation with key stakeholders in the domestic, family, and sexual violence space in Australia, including ANROWS and the Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission, revealed that this report fills a major gap that currently exists in the public body of knowledge regarding domestic, family and sexual violence knowledge in Australia.

In preparing the Australian report, it became immediately apparent that there is currently no source of information which monitors government funding of domestic, family and sexual violence in Australia. This is notwithstanding the Commonwealth Government's ambitious targets to reduce DFSV under the current National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032, and the corresponding Outcomes Framework, which aims to eliminate violence against women in one generation, and to reduce female victims of intimate partner homicide by 25% in 10 years.

The report calls for a national framework to track all Commonwealth, State and Territory Government funding on DFSV, which corresponds to the National Plan, to allow greater transparency and accountability for public investment in addressing this complex issue. This will enable governments and non-government DFSV services to better evaluate programs and target funding to improve outcomes over time.

Why MinterEllison?

One of the key focus areas of our Pro Bono and Community Investment Program is addressing domestic and family violence, as a leading cause of homelessness.

We use a complex systems-based approach, recognising that domestic and family violence intersects various social and economic systems and cross sector collaboration (government, private and social sectors) can be leveraged to improve outcomes.

We have a number of long term partnerships with domestic, family and sexual violence service providers nationally.

Our approach

In order to produce the required information, we manually reviewed all publicly available Commonwealth Government budget papers between 2010 and 2023 to quantify and analyse trends in funding of domestic, family and sexual violence initiatives by the Commonwealth Government in Australia. This report is the first attempt by anyone to do this.

The report has been welcomed by thought leaders in the domestic, family and sexual violence sector in Australia, including Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS). It is hoped that the report will form an important platform to call for an agreed national framework to monitor and evaluate public investment into domestic, family and sexual violence going forward.

Financing of domestic, family and sexual violence initiatives by the Commonwealth Government in Australia

Critical insights and an analysis of government funding and policy effectiveness in combating domestic, family, and sexual violence in Australia.