Last year more than 100 women were killed or were the victims of attempted murder in family and domestic violence-related homicides.
Nearly 1.5 million women in Australia have experienced sexual assault since the age of fifteen.
As we mark National Children’s Week, we recognise the terrible impact of violence and abuse in the home on children, even when it’s not directly targeted at them.
Domestic violence hurts us all. It ruins the lives of individuals, destroys families and breaks communities.
The violence must stop and we are delivering the leadership, policies and resourcing that is required to keep women and children in Australia safe.
The Turnbull Government $100 million commitment to fund the Third Action Plan includes funding for the following initiatives:
1. $20 million for the prevention and early intervention programs to break the cycle of domestic and family violence. This includes:
- developing prevention strategies with local government, business, sporting organisations and community groups to support change
- engaging culturally and linguistically diverse leaders to drive change within communities
- new ways of working with men who have complex needs
- education programs and resources for new fathers
- resources for girls and women to help them identify the early signs of violence, and take safe and appropriate action
- a national workforce agenda, supported by resources and training for frontline staff
2. $25 million for services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians experiencing family violence. This includes:
- strengthening the capacity of Family Violence Prevention Legal Services in high needs areas to deliver case-managed crisis support
- trialling innovative intensive family-focused case management services and trauma-informed therapeutic interventions for children
- testing a number of different approaches to treatment services to address perpetrator behaviour.
3. $15 million to improve and expand national domestic and family violence services. This includes:
- funding the 1800RESPECT helpline to implement the new first responder model, to assist with the increase in demand
- establishing a Housing Innovation Fund to identify alternative accommodation options for women and children affected by violence
- building the capacity of financial counsellors to help women who have experienced domestic and family violence, including financial abuse
- developing innovative and collaborative service responses for women with disability, and women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
4. $30 million for frontline legal services to support women experiencing violence. This includes:
- establishing frontline family violence support services in family law court registries
- supporting Family Relationship Centres to deliver legally-assisted dispute resolution services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and CALD families
- extending innovative and holistic support for women and children experiencing family violence in at-risk communities
5. $10 million to respond to ‘revenge porn’ and online abuse. This includes:
- developing educational resources to shift attitudes and behaviours about pornography
- developing a national online complaints mechanism and police training package, to help counter the effects of sharing intimate material without consent
- researching the forms of violence experienced by different groups of women and their children.
The $100 million the Commonwealth is providing for the Third Action Plan builds on ongoing funding of around $25 million a year underpinning the 2010-2022 National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. It’s also in addition to the $100 million Women’s Safety Package announced by the Coalition Government in September last year.
We recognise that there is more to be done to tackle a problem which stretches across all cultures, demographics and localities.
We must be agile in responding to emerging issues that are often facilitated by technology, such as online abuse and pornography, to ensure our services better meet the needs of our most vulnerable women.
We are intent on harnessing the momentum and unprecedented levels of community awareness around domestic violence to drive meaningful and lasting change.
The Third Action Plan outlines an ambitious three-year agenda, focusing on areas such as addressing sexual violence and supporting vulnerable communities.
For the first time, the Plan includes a national priority about the specific needs of children, helping them to feel safe and recover.
The Third Action Plan includes 36 practical actions under six priority areas:
- preventing and intervening early to address attitudes and practices that excuse, justify and promote violence against women and children
- improving responses and supports for Indigenous Australians experiencing family violence, in recognition that one third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have experienced physical violence from a partner
- providing greater support and choice for women and children leaving or trying to leave family and domestic violence, such as safe, accessible and affordable housing
- sharpening the focus on sexual violence and our response to victims, including more support for frontline services and improving the way forensic evidence is collected
- responding to children living with violence, such as improving interactions between the family law, child protection and family violence systems
- holding perpetrators accountable across all systems, targeting behavioural change responses and improving referrals to support services.
The Plan marks the halfway point of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
We are building on the foundation of six years of hard work and unprecedented levels of funding across all governments, non-government organisations, businesses and the community to reduce family and domestic violence.
Visit: plan4womenssafety.dss.gov.au for more information on the Third Action Plan.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000. For sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling services call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au