The scourge of domestic violence is being addressed by a fresh injection of Federal Government funding announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister for Women, Kelly O’Dwyer, and Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher.
The funding, to the tune of $328 million, would deliver the largest ever Commonwealth investment for prevention and frontline services through the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
Assistant Minister for Children and Families, Michelle Landry, said the investment was one she was proud to help deliver after engaging in the Fourth Action Plan consultations in 2018
“Our Government’s first priority is to keep Australians safe. To hear the accounts of survivors, and see the statistics, it’s just not good enough,” Minister Landry said.
“That’s why we are investing $328 million for the Fourth Action Plan to fund prevention and frontline services.
“This is a serious investment and it comes after serious consultation and consideration.
“Australian women and their children deserve to feel safe in their own homes and this package is designed to provide that security we all rely on.” Ms Landry said.
Assistant Minister Landry added the Fourth Action Plan had been developed using results from the Personal Safety Survey (2016). These results highlighted the very real issue Australia faces when it comes to domestic and family violence.
“We know 2.7% of Queensland women over 18 have experienced partner violence in the past 12 months, that’s slightly higher than the national figure of 2.3%.
“This might just sound like a number to some but what it means is over 50,000 (more than a full Lang Park stadium) Queensland women have experienced partner violence in the past year, with over 29,000 of these having experienced sexual violence at the hands of their partner.
“These are shocking statistics and they aren’t good enough; that’s why we are acting with this serious package to help change the mindset of the nation when it comes to violence against women.” Ms Landry said.
“We are a government of action and this $328 million investment in addressing this societal scourge is proof of just that.”
Summary of new measures:
$82 million for frontline services
$68 million for prevention strategies
$35 million in support and prevention measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
$78 million to provide safe places for people impacted by domestic and family violence.
1800RESPECT will receive $64 million to support the service.
The Coalition has taken strong action already to protect women and children, including:
introducing a minimum standard for domestic violence leave for the very first time;
banning the direct cross-examination of women by their alleged perpetrator during family law proceedings;
extending early release of superannuation on compassionate grounds to victims of family and domestic violence;
expanding Good Shepherd Microfinance’s No Interest Loan Scheme to 45,000 women experiencing family and domestic violence;
providing over 7,046 visas for women and children needing safe refuge through the Women at Risk program;
extending funding for Specialist Domestic Violence Units and Health Justice Partnerships including funding for additional financial support services;
funding support for an additional 31,200 families to resolve family law disputes quickly through mediation;
continuing advertising of the award winning Stop it at the Start campaign;
further funding 1800RESPECT, the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service;
investing an additional $6.7 million in DV alert;
prioritising women and children who are escaping family violence in the $7.8 billion housing and homelessness agreement; and
establishing the eSafety Commissioner in 2017, expanding the scope of the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.
About the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children (2010‑2022) (the National Plan)
The National Plan aims to connect the important work being done by all Australian governments, community organisations and individuals to reduce violence so that we can work together to ensure each year, less women experience violence and more women and their children live safely.
The Commonwealth Government is leading the development of the Fourth Action Plan 2019-2022 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) in partnership with state and territory governments.
The Fourth Action Plan is the final action plan of the National Plan and is due for implementation from mid-2019.
For further information on the National Plan, visit https://www.dss.gov.au/women/programs-services/reducing-violence/the-national-plan-to-reduce-violence-against-women-and-their-children-2010-2022.