Safe Systems- A Blueprint for Action

One year(ish) after a successful election campaign, where many of our key asks were incorporated into Labor WA’s election commitments, and many of those commitments have already been actioned or are in progress, the Safe Systems Coalition decided to:

  • Assess what has been achieved since the Safe Systems election campaign
  • Identify systemic gaps that are preventing us from achieving Safe Systems for women and children living with family and domestic violence and to hold perpetrators accountable
  • Outline the next steps required to promote the immediate and long-term safety and wellbeing of women and children in Western Australia
  • Identify ways to overcome the existing fragmented and episodic response to perpetrators, and create a mutually reinforcing ‘web of accountability’


The Safe Systems Coalition is comprised of the following Peaks:

  • Domestic Violence Legal Workers Network
  • Women’s Community Health Network WA
  • Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services
  • Shelter WA
  • Community Legal Centres Association of WA
  • Unions WA


In addition to the Safe Systems Coalition, the Blueprint for Action is endorsed by the following Peaks:

  • Stopping Family Violence
  • Western Australian Council of Social Services
  • Linkwest
  • Western Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drug Services
  • Western Australian Association of Mental Health
  • People with Disabilities WA
  • Financial Counsellors Association of Western Australia
  • Children’s, Youth and Family Agencies Association


Regarding Labor’s election commitments relevant to this plan, there have be many “key wins” achieved such as the appointment of the Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence.

There are also a lot of election commitments where although perhaps not fully implemented or carried-out, progress is underway.

Of course, there are also a few election commitments that as of yet, have not progressed.

And there are also some positive developments that have occurred outside of Labor’s commitments. 

(Download the Blueprint to see our full assessment)

The importance of whole-system design

An effective system capable of holding perpetrators of family and domestic violence accountable and promoting the safety and wellbeing of women and children, requires all components of the system to be appropriately funded and attention to operational matters and broader system design.

It’s important to think of the whole system/s as a machine, where each part and component is necessary and distinct; has particular purpose or function; but is integral to the larger machine.

So in order to achieve our desired outcomes, we need to feed the machine some pertinent inputs that might be specific to improving particular parts of the system.

But, before we can do that- the importance of “whole systems design” is about ensuring from a systems perspective that our machine has particular functions:


The web of accountability switch has to be turned on, so that we can ensure that all parts of the system are consistently and simultaneously reinforcing a “journey of accountability” for the perpetrator.


We have to make sure that the “violence prevention” gauge is set to “social transformation and justice”, to ensure that this machine is addressing tertiary, secondary and primary prevention.


The pipes of the machine that all our inputs will be travelling through need to allow for data collection, monitoring and evaluation to ensure that we can tell if the machine is doing what it is supposed to be doing, and if it’s not- where it is that we need to adjust or pivot from


The machine must be fitted with each of the system of the system components and they must all work together to produce Safe Systems.


The Governance switch must be set to “strong” so that it can influence all parts of the machine.

Download the full report

Key Asks

Now that we’ve paid close mind to whole system design, we can feed our machine some of the key inputs to work towards our desired outcomes:

Download the full report

The Blueprint for the machinations of Safe Systems is a harnessed position statement of the voices of practitioners and survivors who have navigated these systems