DV Vic warmly welcomes the commitment of the Victorian government to develop a coordinated strategy to prioritise the voices and needs of young Victorians. DV Vic believes young people are incredibly resilient, resourceful and creative, and we support the proposed vision statement that young Victorians should be supported to participate and contribute fully and safely in the community with equitable opportunity to do so. We submit however, that the capacity for young Victorians to live freely and reach their potential now, and into the future is vastly impacted by experiences of family violence and the community attitudes that underpin and drive patriarchal, gendered violence.
This submission points to the imperative that the new Victorian Youth Strategy reflects an understanding of the true diversity in experiences of family violence among young people. Without a well-informed and nuanced approach, young people will continue to fall through the gaps of the service system. We suggest that addressing systemic barriers to young people escaping family violence accessing the support they need, through system collaboration, is a key priority for Victoria. While the youth service system remains largely siloed, young people with multiple or intersecting support needs will continue to be disadvantaged. While we understand these issues better than ever before, a significant gap remains in data and knowledge when it comes to young people and family violence, and the development of the new Victorian Youth Strategy provides a critical opportunity to build nuanced policy platforms that recognise and reflect the diversity of the young people in our state.