Early Years Family Violence Project

The impact of family violence on children is  significant. In light of the high prevalence of family violence in Greater Bendigo, C4C Bendigo believes it is critical that the early years sector play a role in helping address family violence.  As such, C4C has  partnered with the Centre for Non-Violence to develop an Early Years Family Violence Action Plan.

Rationale for Project

The Early Years Family Violence Action Plan identified the following:

  • Violence against women and their children is one of the most pervasive and damaging issues in our society. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime – with the abuser usually someone known to her.
  • Children are considerably impacted by either their direct experience of violence, or witnessing violence against their mother. Some of the impacts include behavioural problems (depression, bed wetting etc), problems engaging with school and associated learning difficulties. A lack of safety and stability in a child’s life can cause further physical, emotional and relational harm.
  • Additionally, the cumulative impact of family violence is highly toxic to the developing child and also directly impacts on parenting capability, negatively affecting parent-child attachment.
  • Specialist family violence services are only funded to support adults, primarily women, experiencing family violence.
  • Strategies to prevent family violence are predominantly targeted at adults, not children.
  • Specialist family violence services and the Early Years sector are not effectively aligned.
  • Many Early Years sector workers, particularly those providing universal services, are under-resourced to support children experiencing family violence.


The Early Years Family Violence Action Plan was developed in response to the prevalence of children experiencing and witnessing family violence in the Bendigo area. The Action plan identified a need for an alignment between family violence specialist services and universal services responses to family violence, particularly in relation to addressing the needs of children.

Project Aims

  • To support the implementation of the Early Years Family Violence Action Plan developed by the Centre for Non-Violence in partnership with Communities for Children.
  • Identify how early years services and programs can help address family violence through awareness raising, staff training and family support.

Project Actions

The role of the C4C Early Years Family Violence Project Worker will be to support the implementation of the Early Years Family Violence Action Plan by:

  • Working with early years services and programs to build awareness of the impact of family violence on children’s development;
  • Fostering common understandings and linkages between the Family Violence sector and Early Years sector, particularly in relation to concept such as ‘prevention’, ‘intervening earlier’ and ‘responding’;
  • Creating awareness amongst workers in the early years sector of available family violence support services and responses;
  • Coordinating and delivering training to the early years sector;
  • Developing training content and targeted resources that can be distributed to families and workers within the early years sector;
  • Implementing key actions of the Early Years Family Violence Action Plan, in consultation with the project advisory group;

Engaging key project stakeholders in the implementation of the Early Years Family Violence Action Plan.

For more information contact:

Phoebe Barton
C4C Early Years FV Project Worker, based at Centre for Non-Violence.
e: PhoebeB@cnv.org.au

Jude Di Manno
Violence Prevention Projects Coordinator, Centre for Non-Violence
e: JudeD@cnv.org.au

p: (03) 5434-4100 (reception)