Building and Supporting Community-led Partnership Initiatives Responding to Family Violence in Indigenous Communities in Victoria

Building and Supporting Community-led Partnership Initiatives Responding to Family Violence in Indigenous Communities in Victoria

Chief Investigator:  Kyllie Cripps

This research project supported by an ARC Indigenous Discovery grant and an AIATSIS grant, sought  to understand how ‘partnerships’ work in theory and practice in the context of Indigenous family violence. Through interviews and focus groups, with Indigenous and mainstream family violence service providers in four sites in Victoria, we have sought to document the types of services available; the challenges and opportunities that present in working in partnership in a crisis driven sector; and to critically analysis the factors that contribute to the sustainability of partnerships over the longer term.

Publications arising from the research include:

Cripps, KA, Miller, L & Yarram, D, 2012, Resistance and Renewal: Building and Supporting Community-led Partnership Initiatives Responding to Family Violence in Indigenous Communities in Victoria, Community Report, Indigenous Law Centre, UNSW, Sydney.

Cripps, KA, 2011, 'Speaking Up To The Silences: Victorian Koori Courts and the Complexities of Indigenous Family Violence', Indigenous Law Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 26, pp. 31 – 34,;dn=690533210252778;res=IELIND

Cripps, KA,  2010, 'Indigenous family violence: Pathways forward', in Nola Purdie, Pat Dudgeon and Roz Walker (ed.), Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice, Aboriginal Studies Press, Australia, pp. 145 - 154,

Cripps, KA, Miller, L & Saxton-Barney, J, 2010, 'Too Hard to Handle: Indigenous Victims of Violence with Disabilities', Indigenous Law Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 21, pp. 3 - 6,

Cripps, KA & Miller, L, 2010, 'Mutant Messages 3: Victoria's Indigenous Family Violence Plan', Indigenous Law Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 18, pp. 10 - 13,

Cripps, KA & Miller, L, 2009, 'Mutant Messages 2: Victoria's Indigenous Family Violence Plan', Indigenous Law Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 12, pp. 10 - 14,

Cripps, KA (2009).  Indigenous Family Violence and its Impacts on Indigenous Children.  Expert Paper commissioned by Victorian Government, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Cripps, KA & Miller, L, 2008, 'Mutant Messages: Victoria's Indigenous Family Violence 10 Year Plan', Indigenous Law Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 15 - 18,

Cripps, KA, 2008, 'Indigenous family violence: A statistical challenge', Injury - International Journal of the Care of the Injured, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. S25 - S35,


Conference Presentations relating to the research include:


Cripps K & Saxton J,  ‘Beating the Drums of Silence: Inclusive practice & stronger partnerships responding to Indigenous violence and disabilities’, Healing Our Spirit Worldwide Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept 2010.

Cripps K & Miller L, ‘Victorian Indigenous Family Violence Partnerships: Reflecting on current policies and practices to consider pathways forward’, Healing Our Spirit Worldwide Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept 2010.

Cripps K, Yarram D, & Yarram I, ‘The challenges of developing and implementing a community led approach to Indigenous family violence at a grass roots  level’, Healing Our Spirit WorldwideConference, Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept 2010.

Cripps K, ‘Indigenous family violence: It’s not black or white, it’s complex’.  Failing to Protect: Moving Beyond Gendered Responses, International Workshop, University of Victoria, Victoria, April 2010.


Cripps K, ‘Protecting the heart of our communities: Indigenous women, violence and responding to its consequences’  Expert Panel: The link between Gender Based Violence and Maternal Health convened by the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance and the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, Canberra, March 2011.

Cripps K, ‘Indigenous Family Violence: Unpacking the complexities’, Responding to Family Violence: National Perspectives, Local Initiatives, National Convention Centre, Canberra, May 2010.

Cripps K, ‘Contextualising Indigenous family violence: Considering current policies and practices to consider pathways forward’, NSW Judicial Commission, Sydney, March 2010.

Cripps K, ‘Indigenous family violence: Reflecting on current policies and practices to consider pathways forward’, National Indigenous Law Conference, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Sept 2009.

Cripps K, ‘Indigenous family violence – gaps in services and research for Aboriginal Adolescents’ Indigenous Adolescent Health Meeting: Research now and into the future, 2009 Annual Congress of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin, Apr 2009.

Cripps K, ‘Let’s get down to business:Where have we been? Where do we need to go?’, Indigenous Family Violence Forum convened by the Hon. Jenny Macklin, the Hon. Tanya Plibersek and the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, Parliament House, Canberra, Jan 2009.

Cripps K & Davis M, ‘Indigenous family violence & sexual assault: An analysis of issues facing  Indigenous Communities’, Attorney General’s Department Family Violence Prevention Legal Services National Conference, Melbourne, Oct 2008.

Useful links to Victorian resources

Current Consultations

Action Plan Consultation Framework - Addressing Violence against Women and their Children

The Victorian Government is developing a three year Action Plan to address all forms of violence against women and their children.  The Government is seeking submissions to help shape the plan and its contents.  A template for written submissions can be found on their website at .  Submissions should be emailed to 23 March 2012.

Current Policy

Violence against Women Policy Statement - Reforming and Preventing

A Right to Safety and Justice - Strategic Framework to Guide Continuing Family Violence Reform in Victoria 2010 – 2020

A Right to Respect - Victoria’s Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women 2010–2020

Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families: Towards a safer future for Indigenous families and communities 10 Year Plan (2008-2018)

Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement Phase 2(AJA2) (2006)


Family Violence Protection Act 2008

Family Violence Protection Amendment (Safety Notices) Act 2011

Children, Youth and Families Act 2005$FILE/05-96aa035%20authorised.pdf

Victorian Indigenous Related Resources

Victorian Indigenous Family Violence Taskforce Report2003

Victorian Government Response to the Indigenous Family Violence Taskforce Final Report2004

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, 2008. Aboriginal Cultural Competence Framework.

Victorian Auditor General, 2008.  Coordinating Services and Initiatives for Aboriginal People.

Dardee Boorai: Victorian Charter of Safety and Wellbeing for Aboriginal Children and Young People 2008

Victorian Indigenous Affairs Framework 2010-2013

Historical Policy Documents

Victorian Women with Disabilities Network Advocacy Information Service, A Framework for INFLUENCING CHANGE Responding to Violence against Women with Disabilities 2007-2009

Guiding Integrated Family Violence Service Reform 2006-2009

Reforming the family violence system in Victoria: A report developed by the statewide steering committee to reduce family violence 2005

Women’s Safety Strategy 2002


Laming, C, Crinall, K, Hurley, J, Patten, S, Goodall, D, Yarram, D, Hamer, K, and McDonald, P, 2011. The Gippsland CommUNITY Walk Against Family Violence: Evaluation Report. Monash University, Gippsland Campus, Churchill.

Department of Justice, 2009. Victorian Family Violence Database: Nine Year Report.

KPMG, 2008. Women's Safety Strategy 2002-07 Evaluation Report.

Evaluation of the Family Violence Risk Assessment training rollout 2008-09

Harris, M 2006. ‘A Sentencing Conversation’ Evaluation of the Koori Courts Pilot Program October 2002 – October 2004, Department of Justice, Melbourne.


Family Violence Related Framework, Assessment and Practice Guides

A framework for comprehensive assessment in men’s behaviour change programs (2009) DHS

Enhancing access to men's behaviour change programs: Service intake model and practice guide (2009) DHS

Practice guidelines: Women and children’s family violence counselling and support programs (2008) DHS

Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (2007) DHS

Protecting Victoria's Children Child Protection Practice Manual (2007) DHS

Code of Practice for Specialist Family Violence Services for Women and Children (2006) Domestic Violence Victoria



Powell, Anastasia, 2011. Review of bystander approaches in support of preventing violence against women.  VicHealth, Carlton.

VicHealth, 2010. National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey 2009. VicHealth, Carlton.

Flood, M, Fergus, L and Heenan, M, 2009. Respectful relationships education: violence prevention and respectful relationships education in Victorian secondary schools.  VicHealth, Carlton.

VicHealth, 2006. Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women.VicHealth, Carlton.

VicHealth, Preventing violence before it occurs: A framework and background paper to guide the primary prevention of violence against women in Victoria (2007).

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