Media Statement: 1 April 2016

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) welcomes the recent report from the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, and commends the Andrews Government’s commitment to implement all report recommendations in a timely manner.

The APS says family violence is a critical social issue that severely impacts the welfare of Victorian women and children, and can have severe mental health ramifications – predictable consequences of being terrified include anxiety, hypervigilance, depression and PTSD. All health and welfare professionals involved need to be upskilled in responding to family violence, and in understanding and recognising these predictable consequences.

Children or adolescents who are assaulted, or witness assaults toward family members, are at increased risk of developing mental health problems, substance abuse and involvement in abusive relationships as adults. The APS applauds the Commission’s attention to their rights and needs for counselling and support.

The Commission’s report aligns with many of the recommendations made by the APS in its submission to the Inquiry.

The APS particularly commends the Commission’s following recommendations:

  • to better integrate support services,
  • family violence training for all key workforces,
  • a more sustained focus on supporting children and young people,
  • respectful relationships programs in schools,
  • a dedicated family violence funding stream to support victims and families,
  • the focus on safer housing , and
  • the establishment of safe hubs.

Link to APS submission to report to Royal Commission

Link to Royal Commission into Family Violence report


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For more information, or to arrange an interview call Rebecca Matthews on 03 8662 3358 or 0435 896 444, or email  Find the APS Media team on Twitter:  @AustPsych.

The APS is the largest professional organisation for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 21,000 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.