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Understanding FDSV


Policy and international context

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Australian, state and territory governments have a range of initiatives to prevent and respond to family, domestic and sexual violence (FDSV). Policy plays an essential role in defining the overarching vision, priorities and course of action for ending violence. Policy also informs which data are important for monitoring progress and expanding the evidence base. This topic page provides an overview of Australia’s policy and international context in relation to FDSV.

Policy context in Australia

National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children

The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (the 2010–2022 National Plan) was the first plan to coordinate Australian, state and territory government action in this area. It focused on the 2 main types of violence experienced by women – domestic/family violence and sexual assault – and aimed to achieve a ‘significant and sustained reduction in violence against women and their children’. Since the release of the 2010–2022 National Plan, the awareness of family, domestic and sexual violence has grown, along with the evidence base. Key national initiatives during this time include the establishment of Our Watch, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), the 1800RESPECT service, and the Stop it at the Start campaign.

The second plan – the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 (the National Plan) – was released in October 2022, with a vision to end gender-based violence in one generation. The scope is broader than the 2010–2022 National Plan, reflecting the evolving understanding and language around gender-based violence. In particular:

  • While still focused on violence against women, children are recognised as experiencing violence in their own right (including exposure to violence), and gender-based violence against LGBTIQA+ people is also included.
  • ‘Gender-based violence’ encompasses a broader range of violence than the term ‘family, domestic and sexual violence’ – it includes all violence, abuse and harassment in all settings (at home, work, school, in the community and online). Coercive control is also acknowledged as a significant part of the experience of violence.

The key objectives under each of the four domains of the National Plan – prevention, early intervention, response, and recovery and healing – will be implemented through 2 5-year Action Plans. The First Action Plan 2023-2027 outlines the initial scope of activities, areas for action and responsibility with respect to outcomes. The Outcomes Framework 2023–2032 will support monitoring and reporting over the life of the National Plan.

To address the high rates of violence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) women and children experience, a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan 2023–2025 has been developed which aligns with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. In the longer-term, a standalone First Nations National Plan will be developed.

Other national plans, agreements, strategies and frameworks

The National Plan is complemented by a range of other national initiatives of relevance to family, domestic and sexual violence:

Additional national strategies on gender equality and injury prevention (including injury from violence) are in development.

State and territory government initiatives

State and territory governments have a range of jurisdiction-specific initiatives to prevent and respond to family, domestic and sexual violence that operate across a number of sectors, including health, justice and community services. This work aligns with the National Plan and includes:

New South Wales

NSW Domestic and Family Violence Plan 2022–2027

NSW Sexual Violence Plan 2022–2027


Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change


Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016–2026

Prevent. Support. Believe. Queensland's framework to address sexual violence

Western Australia

Path to Safety: Western Australia’s Strategy to Reduce Family and Domestic Violence 2020–2030

South Australia

Committed to Safety: A framework for addressing domestic, family and sexual violence in South Australia (ended June 2022). A new strategy is in development.


Tasmania's Third Family and Sexual Violence Action Plan 2022–2027: Survivors at the Centre

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Domestic and Family Violence Risk Assessment Framework

Northern Territory

Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Reduction Framework 2018–2028

Northern Territory Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Framework 2020–2028

International context

Australia has a range of international commitments and engagements to promote gender equality and the human rights of women and girls, which includes the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence. Examples include:

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