Sun. May 26th, 2024

‘Missed opportunity’: The extra steps advocates want on gendered violence ‘crisis’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May23,2024
The federal government’s $925 million package to tackle gendered violence has been labelled “a step forward”, but researchers and advocates say more needs to be done to address the “crisis” Australia faces.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made following a snap National Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, which includes $5,000 payments for women escaping violent or abusive situations through the Leaving Violence Program.
The funding is in addition to the $2.3 billion the government has already committed to delivering

As part of the move, laws will be introduced to ban the creation and distribution of deepfake pornography, and a pilot program will be set up for age assurance technology to block access for children to online content such as pornography.

The National Cabinet meeting came after , which has been labelled a “crisis” of .
Twenty-eight women have been violently killed in Australia since the start of the year, according to advocacy group Destroy the Joint’s project Counting Dead Women.

The Leaving Violence Program was a two-year trial that was set to expire at the end of January, but will now become permanent.

More work ‘absolutely necessary’

Kate Fitz-Gibbon, a director at Monash University’s Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, said this was “a step forward” but more work is “absolutely necessary”.

“Victim-survivors can be at high risk of serious harm and death when they leave a violent relationship,” Fitz-Gibbon said.

Because of that, it’s important “to ensure that the specialist support sector is funded to provide the critical safety supports that victim-survivors need when they leave an abuser”, she said.

Fitz-Gibbon also said there must be a sufficient amount of housing for victim-survivors, “who should not have to choose between living with an abuser or homelessness”.

Calls to recognise link between domestic violence and homelessness

Mission Australia echoed this point, with CEO Sharon Callister urging Australian governments to extend their focus to preventing homelessness for those escaping violence.
“As state and federal leaders work together to grapple with the alarming surge in violence against women, it’s important we recognise the critical link between domestic and family violence and homelessness,” Callister said in a statement.
“Women bear a disproportionate burden of domestic and family violence, which significantly contributes to the homelessness emergency gripping our nation.”
While Callister welcomed the government’s funding for immediate financial support, she said supporting longer-term financial independence was also vital.

“With one in four women who want to leave an abusive partner reporting lack of money or financial support as the main reason they’re unable to leave, and with women and girls making up the majority of people living in poverty in Australia, the federal government must also lift income support to improve women’s economic security and safety,” she said.

‘Deeply underwhelming’

Meanwhile, Phillip Ripper, CEO of the men’s behaviour change agency No To Violence, described the announcement as “a missed opportunity” to acknowledge that the current approach taken by governments was “not working”.
“We need radical change to focus on the real problem, and that is men using family violence,” Ripper said in a statement.
“While we welcome the prime minister’s national leadership, ending family violence requires a focus on the men who use family violence”.

Ripper said interventions including one-to-one “trauma-informed therapeutic work” and “whole-of-family responses” were needed.

ANTHONY ALBANESE PRESSER

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made the funding announcement following a snap National Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Source: AAP / Dean Lewins

Greens spokesperson on women Larissa Waters said the government’s announcement was “deeply underwhelming”.

“The government announced $925 million over five years, but it’s not for frontline services,” Waters said.
“It’s to help women reach out to support services, but with those services already drastically underfunded this announcement will simply increase demand on an already stretched sector.”
But the UnitingCare Consortium, which had helped to run the pilot program for the escaping violence payment, said the permanent expansion of the scheme was a significant move.
The consortium’s Victorian and Tasmanian chief executive Bronwyn Pike said the extension would save lives.

“We know financial insecurity is one of the main barriers that prevent people, predominantly women and children, from leaving a violent partner and in some cases why some return to an abusive partner,” she said.

More work to do: Albanese

Albanese acknowledged there was more work to do to address the problem.
“Can we be satisfied when a woman is losing her life on average every four days? Of course not,” he said.
“I’ll be satisfied when we eliminate this as an issue, when we’re not talking about this as an issue where women are not feeling as though they have to mobilise in rallies.”
National Cabinet will hold another meeting on domestic and family violence in the next financial quarter.
With the Australian Associated Press.
If you or someone you know is impacted by family and domestic violence or sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit . In an emergency, call 000.
, operated by No to Violence, can be contacted on 1300 766 491.
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “‘Missed opportunity’: The extra steps advocates want on gendered violence ‘crisis’”
  1. ‘Absolutely necessary step forward’, as pointed out by Kate Fitz-Gibbon. It’s crucial to acknowledge the high risk victim-survivors face when leaving violent relationships and take further action to address the ongoing crisis of gendered violence.

  2. Victim-survivors can be at high risk of serious harm and death when they leave a violent relationship. More work is absolutely necessary to ensure their safety and protection.

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