MCM undertakes purposeful advocacy at all levels – government, private sector and community. We work closely with the sector to advocate for positive social change.
You can read our policy and research submissions below.
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In Australia the national youth suicide statistics are alarming. Suicide accounts for 38 per cent of the deaths among young people aged 15-24 years old. Understanding the factors that contribute to an increased risk of youth suicide is complex. In particular, examinations of the role of childhood experiences of (domestic and family violence) DFV as a lethality indicator remain scarce. Seeking to further current understandings of the role of DFV in youth suicide, this report presents the findings from a review of the current state of knowledge in Australia and internationally on the intersection between children and young people’s experiences of DFV, and their risk of youth suicide.
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The isolating effect of the pandemic has been felt acutely by Australia’s young people, with lockdown and emergency measures disrupting the routines and connections that keep young people safe and engaged. Many have been exposed to increased risk of family violence, mental health pressures, school disengagement and insecure housing. The upcoming Federal Election is an opportunity to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all young people and to ensure they are not left behind as Australia recovers from COVID-19.
PDF | 30.7 MB
As we know at MCM, having a home is critical for people’s mental and physical health, their education and employment opportunities, and their ability to fully participate in society. This submission focuses on the interface between youth homelessness and the over representation of young people in the criminal justice system, and the distinct set of challenges that vulnerable young people face that require a differentiated response to adults. Lack of stable housing is one of the biggest factors that is driving up the number of young people and in particular young women on remand and in prison, many of these young people have experienced adverse childhood experiences including family violence and are homeless as a result. Furthermore, people without a home are at risk of spending longer periods in prison as they must have access to stable housing to get parole. MCM urges the Victorian Government to shift from a crisis investment lens to an early intervention lens funding supported medium term housing, family violence prevention and continue the focus on reforming the out of home care system.
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MCM and Y-Change welcome the opportunity to provide feedback on the Draft National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022 – 2032 (Draft Plan) and commends the Australian Government on maintaining this important focus. This submission should be read in conjunction with MCM’s submission to the National Plan for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children. The increased focus on preventing and responding to gender-based violence across Australia is strongly welcomed, however despite this focus, young people who are experiencing family violence are not recognised as victim-survivors in their own right and have been overlooked by the Draft Plan. Adolescents and young people are largely seen under the Draft Plan for their use of harm and violence and are not referenced in the title of the Draft Plan.
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Family violence continues to be a pervasive, systemic issue in Australia. In Victoria, the need for deep and sustained reform to address this challenge was reflected in the outcomes from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Significant progress has been made in implementing these recommendations, however, gaps remain for young people who are experiencing family violence, either in the home or from an intimate partner. The Amplify Project, undertaken by Melbourne City Mission, seeks to understand this gap in policy and services and map a way forward. This report outlines the findings from the research conducted as part of this project and which has been shaped and guided by the insights of lived expertise.