How many will it take?
"Woman shot dead at McDonalds", "Woman rammed, chased with machete", "Woman dies after crash beating". These were the horrific, heart-wrenching headlines that the Brisbane Times homepage last week.
Despite the national epidemic of family violence, the federal government are still leaving women in danger -- by failing to provide adequate federal funding for the services needed to help women escape abusive relationships. It means that thousands of women who take the brave step of trying to escape an abuser are being left with nowhere to turn.
We can't let this go on. That means speaking up and holding the government accountable until the provide family violence services with the funding they need to help stop this horrific abuse. Can you take 5 minutes to send the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women Michaelia Cash about this issue via email@example.com?
Click here to find out what you should say
- Introduce yourself - Mention where you live and what you do. If you voted for the government at the last election you might want to mention this.
- Explain the reason you're emailing - Let the Minister know that you're emailing because you're very concerned that the federal government are leaving women in danger, by failing to provide adequate funding for the services needed to help women escape abusive relationships - and leaving many with nowhere to turn.
Let the Minister know that you want the government to commit to fully fund the services needed to help women escape abuse, and to prevent abuse in the future. That means providing full funding for services like:
- Specialist domestic and family violence services - specialist women's services are the critical pillar of any response to family violence. The provide a unique, specialist understand of the issue and ability to assess and manage risk. To ensure women aren't left in danger, it's critical they can access 24-hour specialist, integrated, accessible and culturally safe support. But right now these critical services aren't getting the funding they need to ensure all women have the support they need to escape danger.
Legal assistance services - can be critical to ensure a woman is able to find out where she stands with family law, and to feel able to escape her abuser. Community Legal Centres (CLCs), are an important provider of this support -- in fact a third of the work they do is family violence related. But inadequate government funding for CLCs meant more than 150,000 people aren't able to get the help they need every year, among them family violence victims.
At the same time Family Violence Prevention Legal Services - which provide specialist and culturally safe services for Aboriginal women are also unable to meet demand.
The Productivity Commission has told the federal government the legal assistance sector as a whole needs an urgent injection of $120 million.
- 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 $56 million of funding, on top of services needed to support women and prevent further violence), to improve and expand on current services.
- 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.
- Urge the Minister to pass on your concerns to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The Minister is very personally passionate about this topic. Ask her to pass your message and concerns onto the Prime Minister and other members of Cabinet and to urge them to make urgent funding commitments for family violence services.
- Thank the Minister for her time.
Once you've sent your email, please forward us a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep track of all the powerful messages being sent to the Minister on this issue!