Central Domestic Violence Service’s Statement of Values is underpinned by feminist principles that recognise the structural and social impact of patriarchy in our society. Cross cultural research demonstrates that the most important cause of men’s violence against women is gender inequality (Pease in Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, 2004, p.28). We recognise the unequal access to social, political and economic power between women and men, and how this imbalance leads to violence against women. Attitudes and beliefs about gender are learned, and society often teaches deeply held sexist views which support notions of male privilege. Such notions lead to belief systems held by men who use violence against women.
The vision of Central Domestic Violence Service is to provide support, services and advocacy to enable women and their children experiencing domestic and family violence to claim their right to live free from violence within respectful relationships and in safe communities.
The following values and guiding principles underpin the work of Central Domestic Violence Service:
We value safety
- Violence against women and their children is unacceptable and it is a fundamental breach of human rights.
- The safety of women and their children who have experienced or are experiencing violence is paramount in any response.
We value diversity and equity
- We recognise and embrace the diversity of women and their children and acknowledge how it shapes women’s experience of violence.
- Women and their children have a right of access to our service.
- We are committed to eliminating barriers based on culture, race, language, religion, sexuality, ability, class and age.
We value respect
- Women and their children will be treated with respect.
- We respect women’s rights to make their own decisions and choices for themselves and their children.
We value responsiveness and flexibility
- Women and their children have access to services which are responsive and flexible to their unique experiences.
- We are committed to the ongoing development of responses that meet the needs of women and their children in our community.
We value knowledge and accountability
- The service is committed to the ongoing professional development of staff to ensure that practice is accountable, specialised, consistent, ethical and evidence-based.
- The service recognises that client participation is an integral component of service development.
- Evaluation and appropriate outcome measures underpin all programs.
We value community responsibility
- The whole community is responsible for condemning and eliminating violence against women and their children.
- We are committed to partnerships which enhance the outcomes for women and their children who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence.
Acknowledgement: Time for Action: National Plan to reduce Violence against Women, Australian Government
Reference: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (2004) The health costs of violence: measuring the burden of disease caused by intimate partner violence—a summary of findings, Department of Human Services, Carlton, Vic