Published: July 6, 2021


Kuskoff, E. (2021) From aims to actions: A critical analysis of government intervention in cultural drivers of domestic and family violence. Australian Journal of Public Administration. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12486

Author:

Ella Kuskoff


Abstract:

Addressing the cultural drivers of domestic and family violence (DFV) has become a core policy priority for governments across Australia. Over the last five years, the Queensland Government has taken a particularly strong stance on the issue through its Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016–2026. This strategy identifies the Queensland Government’s leading aim of changing the community culture that drives DFV. Although there is significant evidence to support this aim, there is equally important evidence suggesting that public policies often contain problematic assumptions and ideologies that limit their ability to achieve their aims. This article presents a critical discourse analysis of Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016–2026 and related policy documents to examine the assumptions and ideologies underpinning Queensland’s policy and their potential to impact on policy outcomes. The findings broadly identify three areas of concern, namely an assumed link between attitudes and behaviours; a disproportionate focus on general community members compared to DFV perpetrators; and an implicit reinforcement of the gender hierarchy. The article concludes with a discussion of the broader implications of these findings for future policy development in Australia.