Stop leaving women in danger: we need full funding of family violence services

Australia is in the midst of a family violence crisis. Women are being abused and murdered in devastating numbers -- but governments are still leaving thousands of women without the service support they need to live free from danger.

Escaping an abuser can be difficult and dangerous; in many cases it's impossible to do without support. That's why properly resourced family violence services are critical to the safety of women affected.

Prime Minister Turnbull's latest funding announcement was woefully inadequate for the scale and this problem, and the danger to thousands of women's lives. But his Treasurer has told the media that the government will 'afford what needs to be afforded'. Can you help make the call for full funding of family violence services so loud the government can't ignore it? 

*If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, you can call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for 24/7 support. If you are in immediate danger call 000.

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Australia is in the midst of a family violence crisis. The statistics are stark. 81,900 women say they have wanted to escape their current violent partner, but never have. Further 1 in 12 women have indicated they have been forced to return to their abusive partner because they had nowhere else to go. At the same time, the services women need to live free from danger are being under-funded by governments; leaving thousands of women in danger. 

  • Specialist domestic and family violence services aren't resourced to respond to all police referrals, or to meet demand for crisis or outreach. 
  • Community Legal Centres provide critical support to women affected by family violence. But inadequate funding forces them to turn away 160,000 people a year (including but not limited to those affected by family violence). They need an additional $14.4 million a year to meet demand; instead they're facing $34 million cut from 2017.
  • Family Violence Prevention Legal Services - which provide specialist and culturally safe services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are also unable to meet demand. They need $28 million additional funding to ensure national coverage. 
  • Men's behaviour change programs - work with men who use violent and controlling behaviour to prevent and minimise the harm of family violence. These programs are calling for an additional $38 million of funding to expand programs and ensure national minimum standards and accreditation. 
  • Primary prevention - needed to address the community attitudes that lead to violence. They need additional funding for a range of programs including early childhood interventions and respectful relationship education in schools.

We call on all Australian governments - federal, state and territory - to make good on their commitments to address our domestic violence epidemic by committing all funds needed to fully support programs which prevent domestic violence and provide protection and support for those affected. Including: legal services, crisis support and refuges, outreach services, men's behaviour change programs, emergency accommodation and long-term housing, counselling services and homelessness services.

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