Labor will make ending violence against women a national priority

A Shorten Labor Government will make preventing and responding to family violence a national priority.

One woman a week is murdered by a current or former partner. Family violence hurts children and ripples through generations. This must change.

Labor commits to national leadership to address the shameful prevalence of violence against women and their children.

Labor will more than double investment in the Fourth Action Plan to prevent and respond to family violence, delivering record Commonwealth funding of over

$660 million.

Early intervention and education, frontline services, emergency accommodation and legal services will all receive a significant boost under Labor.

A Shorten Labor Government investment will include:

More support for frontline services

Refuges and emergency accommodation: Labor will invest an extra

$60 million to build more refuges and emergency accommodation, doubling the Liberals’ commitment. This will mean more refuges in areas of need, modern facilities that accommodate older children, accessibility upgrades and better places for children. Labor will also invest $18 million to continue the Keeping Women Safe in their Home program.

More legal assistance: Labor will support better legal services through a new $90 million Preventing Family Violence Legal Service Fund. This will include $42.5 million extra for Community Legal Centres – helping 115,000 more women; $21.5 million extra for Family Violence Prevention Legal Centres providing dedicated legal support available to First Nations women in more areas; and $21 million to double the number of Specialist Domestic Violence Units and Health Justice partnerships – providing specialist support to women in hospitals, health services and in the community.

Safe, affordable housing: Labor will establish an $88 million Safe Housing Fund to deliver transitional and emergency housing for women and children escaping violence, older women at risk of homelessness and young people exiting out of home care. $20 million from the Safe Housing Fund will go towards Labor’s extra support for refuges and emergency accommodation. Labor will also build

250,000 affordable houses – helping women and children escaping family violence to find stability and rebuild their lives.

Investing in prevention

Community led responses: We will invest $62 million in Local Community Prevention and Frontline Service Grants, including dedicated funding for First Nations women, women with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse women and LGBTIQ people. Labor will invest in family violence services for LGBTIQ people in each state and in evidence-based men’s behaviour change programs.

Supporting respectful relationships education in schools: Labor will provide

$35 million to state and territory and non-government school systems to deliver best-practice, evidence-based, age-appropriate respectful relationships education in schools.

Better risk management: Labor will fund a $2 million trial of the Integrated Safety Response model – a strategy to pull existing services together and reach at-risk families earlier.

More practical support for women

Flexible support packages: Labor will invest $60 million in 20,000 Flexible Support Packages of up to $10,000 to support people escaping family violence in practical ways that help them the most – such as rent, furniture, transport, medication, home security and transport costs.

Domestic violence leave: Labor will legislate ten days paid domestic violence leave as part of the National Employment Standard. People experiencing family violence should not have to choose between leaving a violent relationship and keeping their job.

Better Centrelink services: Labor will improve Centrelink services, with 25 Family Violence Specialists to provide support for people experiencing family violence – including priority claim processing and a new dedicated Family Violence phone line to make sure people get payments quickly, and can get straight through to a specialist who can support them.

Supporting women on temporary visas: Women on temporary visas are particularly vulnerable to family violence and are often unable to access the support services they need. Labor will review immigration and social security arrangements and invest $5 million in services and interpreters.

Recognising economic abuse: Changing the law to ensure that economic abuse is a recognised form of family violence, and that dowry abuse can be one of many kinds of financial abuse.

Tackling forced marriage: Labor will invest $13.6 million to tackle forced marriage, introduce forced marriage protection orders and a Commonwealth Forced Marriage Unit to assist victims.

Making family violence a national priority

National leadership: Labor’s plan will make the prevention of violence against women and their children a COAG priority, because governments need to work together towards lasting change. We will also deliver a new 10-year National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, set a target to reduce rates of family violence and establish a National Advisory Group to guide the development of the National Plan.

Labor is committed to the $328 million investment in the Fourth Action Plan, including its focus on prevention.

Labor will also work with the sector to implement recommendations from the Senate committee inquiry into 1800RESPECT that will strengthen service delivery going forward.

A Shorten Labor Government will show the national leadership required to put the prevention of family violence back at the top of the national agenda.

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