2021 Addressing Violence against Women and their Children Award Winner

Cumberland Council, NSW

Cumberland Domestic and Family Violence Action Plan



The Project

The Cumberland Domestic and Family Violence Action Plan is a collaborative program developed in co-design with the community organisations to address the underlying issues that lead to DFV, increase support victims of DFV and change the attitudes that excuse disrespect.

Community organisations indicated that there was a need to coordinate providers to have a more substantial impact and address DFV. The reference group decided on three priority areas;

  1. address gaps in the information and referral network for those experiencing DFV,
  2. enhance the capacity of community groups and services to respond,
  3. design primary prevention programs that drive the changing of norms, practices and structures that lead to gender-based violence.

From these three priority areas, an additional 12 specific activities were identified. The program is due for completion at the end of 2022; however, some actions have already been completed and yielded excellent outcomes.

One of the actions included the delivery of educational sessions to service providers and community groups regarding the police, the legal system, and what happens after a DFV report is made. Since the program began, we had 26 requests for group sessions from 19 departments and 16 organisations. With the support of NSW Police, Legal Aid NSW and Women’s Legal Service, we have delivered five sessions and have more planned in 2022. A series of five educational videos in six community languages have also been developed to support the information given during this training. These sessions have increased the skills and knowledge of local providers to support women and children who are at risk of, or experiencing, family and domestic violence.

To address the underlying issues that lead to DFV the reference group also developed the #TakeAStand Campaign. This campaign was designed to raise awareness and create a culture of gender equality. It also includes and education kit to help people understand the drivers of domestic violence. The campaign has been taken up by the NSW Police, by Cumberland Council and by organisations delivering food and essential goods. The campaign will be delivered during the 16 Days of Activism 2021.

The Award Category

This award recognises local government projects which: 

  • address underlying cause of as gender inequality and power imbalances to eliminate violence against women and their children
  • support and advocate for women and children experiencing family and domestic violence and sexual harassment 
  • raise awareness and create cultures and communities of respect, inclusion and gender equality.

Successful projects in this award category benefit communities by: 

  • preventing violence towards women by driving sustainable change in community awareness, attitudes and behaviours 
  • supporting women and children who are at risk of, or experiencing, family and domestic violence, sexual violence or sexual harassment 
  • changing the attitudes and social norms that excuse or condone disrespect, sexual harassment and abuse.

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