Together we forced them to respond
On Sunday morning, in a Weekend Sunrise interview about domestic violence funding, Minister Cash announced that the federal government would commit an additional $4 million of additional funding to make sure 1800 RESPECT can answer all its calls. Together we made this possible. Now we need your help to keep the pressure up.
This is an important victory – for Fair Agenda members and the thousands of other concerned Australians who have joined the call for full funding of family violence services. But it’s not even close to enough. Fair Agenda's ‘What it will take’ report has shown that thousands of women fleeing family violence are being turned away from frontline family violence services because those services don’t have enough funding.
No doubt the government are hoping that the weekend’s announcement will put an end to our campaign and calls for full funding. We can't let that happen. Fair Agenda has a plan to keep this issue in the headlines -- but we need to raise $5,000 by the end of the month to make it possible. Can you chip in to help make the next phase of the campaign happen?
Here’s what Fair Agenda members have made possible in this campaign so far…
Last Tuesday, just before the federal budget was announced, The Project covered the launch of Fair Agenda’s report on ‘What it will take’ to tackle our family violence crisis, sending the call to #showmethemoney to tackle family violence trending nationally. (Haven't seen the segment yet? You can check it out here).
The coverage of the report put domestic violence front and centre in budget coverage.
Which made the absence of any new announcements of funding for family violence services on budget night a topic of extensive conversation, including in post-budget interviews like this one with the Treasurer.
Our report, and the ensuing coverage forced key government Ministers to explain why this national emergency isn’t being treated as a funding priority. And the fact that they weren't able to answer that question, just made more headlines.
By Thursday, the call for funding was printed in papers across our capital cities.
By the end of the week more than 35,000 of us joined the call for full funding of family violence services and pledged not to stop speaking up until we get it, and the The Project's segment launching our 'What it will take' report had been shared so many times it had been viewed more than half a million times on Facebook alone.
Together, we created so much pressure that when Minister Cash appeared on Weekend Sunrise to discuss the campaign, and the government’s inadequate funding commitment for family violence services, she announced the government would be committing an additional $4 million to make sure all calls to our national counselling service 1800 RESPECT could be answered.
It’s a great start. But it’s not nearly enough. Fair Agenda's ‘What it will take’ report highlighted 9 service areas that are needed to tackle our family violence crisis. Including Community Legal Centres – where a third of the work is family violence related – who still have to turn away 150,000 people a year. Homelessness services, that act as a critical safety net for women who can no longer safely stay at home, turn away 423 people every night. And Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services still need an additional $28 million funding a year to meet need.
To win the change we need on this issue, we'll have to work together to keep making headlines, to build pressure on the federal government, and to take our message to the Ministers responsible for these services. And it won't be easy. That's why we need your help. We need to cover the costs of delivering our campaigns - and the next phase of this campaign will cost $5,000. It's money we don't have right now. Can you chip in to help make the next stage of the campaign possible?
1. Domestic violence: Government pledges $4m for helpline, considers monitoring offenders using GPS technology, ABC news, 17 May 2015.