Women’s Safety NSW has released its submission to the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Parliamentary inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence calling for $12 billion over 12 years to invest in evidence-based solutions to the nation’s domestic and family violence scourge.
The peak body for women’s specialist domestic violence services in NSW will also be appearing before the Committee at midday today where it will canvass the key elements of its roadmap to women’s safety, and answer questions as put to it by the twelve participating members of the Inquiry.
At its core, Women’s Safety NSW points to a lack of investment in tackling violence against women and children at the Federal level, with just $110 million per annum in core funding directly dedicated to addressing an issue which affects close to half a million Australian women and their children every year.
“The critical message to the Committee today is that if we want to see a reduction in violence against women in this country, we need to commit to an adequately funded plan” says Hayley Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Safety NSW. “You can’t move a mountain of this magnitude with a bunch of shovels.”
The submission directly addresses each of the terms of reference for the Inquiry but highlights some key areas for immediate action.
“We must address the gaping holes in the domestic and family violence support systems for adult and child victim-survivors and abusers of violence, as well as the problems in our civil, criminal and family law systems which can prove an ineffective bottom line for dangerous behaviour, but we cannot take our eye off the nation-wide project of addressing the damaging violence-supportive attitudes and conditions which allow violence against women to thrive in our communities”, says Ms Foster.
On preventing violence, Women’s Safety NSW recommend investment in an implementation plan for the Our Watch Change the Story Framework: “We’ve got a clear framework for reform to change culture and save lives, let’s invest in its implementation so we can start driving down rates of violence perpetration” says Ms Foster.
On services for victims and abusers, the focus is on ensuring universal access, regardless of a person’s geographical location or other factors: “We need to actually roll programs out either face-to-face or through technologies to all victims and abusers