No-one left in harm's way: Join the campaign for full funding of family violence services
Right now, Australia is in the midst of a family violence crisis. Women are being abused and murdered by their partners in shocking numbers, and governments are still leaving thousands of women without access to the service support they need to live free from danger.
To address this crisis we need to ensure anyone reaching out for help can get it, and make sure governments are investing in the men's behaviour change and primary prevention programs we need to stop more violence in the future.
To secure the funding needed, we'll have to show the federal government just how many voters are prepared to hold them accountable on this issue. Can you add your voice to the call for action and help make the community's 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.
Here is a snapshot of the federal funding experts say is required to help tackle this epidemic:
- Specialist domestic and family violence services (including women's refuges) - urgently need adequate funding to ensure 24-hour accessible front line, integrated support for women and children in crisis. That includes an immediate injection of funds to deal with the 2,800 women trying to escape family violence who have to be turned away from homelessness services every year because those services aren't resourced to assist them.
- Legal assistance services provide critical support for women needing to understand the courts process, if they'll be able to keep their children safe, and where they stand if there has been financial abuse. But:
- Community Legal Centres - where family violence makes up a third of the work, have to turn away more than 150,000 people annually because they're not adequately resourced.
- Family Violence Prevention Legal Services - which provide a critical culturally safe support service for Aboriginal women and children also don't have the funding they need to meet demand for their service, despite the fact that Aboriginal women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised as the result of a family violence assault than other Australian women. They're calling for an additional $28 million annually to expand their service.
The Productivity Commission has said the legal assistance sector as a whole needs an immediate injection of $120 million of funding from the federal government annually.
- Men's behaviour change programs need an additional $58 million to expand their services, develop a national accreditation system, and provide earlier intervention with domestic violence perpetrators.
- Primary prevention programs - critical to addressing the underlying drivers of violence and preventing violence in the future - need an additional $24 million in 2016/17 to kick-start immediate early childhood interventions, respectful relationships and community education programs.