Of the more than 227 recommendations, the report makes the following 13 recommendations:
1. The establishment of highly visible "support and safety" hubs so that victims can get information and find services in their local area including police referrals, link victims with specialist support, conduct risk assessments and book victims into crisis accommodation.
2. Make new laws to ensure that privacy should not trump victim safety by allowing information sharing. A centralised service would be able to share information about perpetrators with police, courts, family violence services and the safety hubs.
3. A substantial expansion of the "safe at home" approach under which victims and children can remain in the family home while the perpetrator has to leave by enabling victims to receive rental or mortgage subsidies, electronic personal safety devices as well as police monitoring.
4. Women and children who have been forced to leave their homes for their safety are stuck in crisis or short-term housing. They should be rehoused immediately with the support of expanded individual funding. The report notes that there is an urgent need to address the housing response to family violence and recommends that a housing taskforce needs be set up to end blockages in the system and to determine the number of social housing units needed for victims who can't get private rental.
5. Programs dealing with perpetrators are entirely insufficient. Increased monitoring and insight is needed. A relatively small number of repeat offenders account for a disproportionate amount of the reported family violence incidents. To this end, specialist panels that assess the risk from repeat offenders need to be extended across Victoria.
6. Create more family violence courts: An expansion of specialist courts – currently in places like Frankston and Heidelberg – that can deal with the complexities facing victims in the one place, including criminal, family law and civil matters. All family violence matters should be heard in specialist courts within five years.
7. Children should have more access to counselling and other support, and be automatically included on intervention orders or have their own order.
8. Public hospitals should be resourced to have a whole-of-hospital response to family violence. Routine screening for domestic violence should occur at all public antenatal appointments. Victoria should encourage the federal government to consider a Medicare-billed option for family violence counselling.
9. An independent Family Violence Agency needs to hold governments to account. To this end the commissioners put timeframes on all of their recommendations: some immediate, others longer term.
10. The commission was given a budget of $36 million to run its investigation but only spent $13.5 million recommending that the remaining $22.5 million be used to kick-start the response towards family violence services. Victoria's state government allocated $80.6 million to family violence in 2014-15 but the implementation of the commission's recommendations will cost much more than this amount and will need to take priority in the state and federal budgets.
11. The police need to make more use of investigative and mobile technology including the trial of body-worn cameras. More training for police is needed to increase their understanding of family violence.
12. Family violence training must be provided for all key workers including those in hospitals and schools. An expansion of respectful-relationships education in schools should be undertaken as "Failure to give priority to prevention risks condemning future generations to the plight of today's victims of family violence."
13. While Family Violence rates are higher among Indigenous Australians, women and children face cultural barriers when trying to get support. Victoria must establish a statewide, culturally appropriate response to improve this, focused on the first five years of life.
Of the 227 recommendations offered in the report from the RCFV, here are 13 of the most important and most practical.