What is an evidence base and why do we need it?
All Australian governments have worked together to develop the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (2010-2022) (the National Plan). The National Plan addresses areas of violence in creative, innovative and targeted ways to bring about change. It also recognises the need for a strong evidence base to inform the development of appropriate, targeted strategies to reduce these forms of violence and for evaluation of action taken. The current evidence base is not sufficiently robust to support the information requirements of governments to achieve the aims of their coordinated response, now and into the future. An improved evidence base is therefore required to assist the implementation of effective interventions and preventative measures.
An evidence base can provide a range of information that reflects the lived experience of individuals involved in and affected by incidents of family, domestic and sexual violence. This information can relate to the socio-demographic characteristics of offenders and victims (such as their age, education levels, income, health status, family composition and housing tenure), through to details of incidents, how they occur and responses to those incidents. Those affected by family, domestic and sexual violence may engage with a range of agencies, individuals and services, however this information can be fragmented. These pieces of information, when harnessed for analytical purposes can provide valuable insights that can be used to identify those at risk of family violence and deploy effective prevention, intervention and support strategies.
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