Full funding needed to end violence against women and children

Australian Greens

The Greens welcome the belated release of the First Action Plan and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan under the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.

We have long supported calls for a clear set of actions and targets, but funding remains a key issue, and more women will die without adequate funding for frontline services and prevention work.

As stated by Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on Women, Larissa Waters

“For the National plan to end violence against women and children to succeed it needs to be properly funded, and it needs targeted, meaningful goals. We welcome the detail provided in the release of the First Action Plan and the Outcomes Framework but we’re still a long way from being able to celebrate actual outcomes.

“Already this year 35 women have been killed, according to volunteer organisation Counting Dead Women Australia researchers of Destroy the Joint. The Greens have been pushing for years for the government to keep a national FDV death toll, to aid in awareness raising and prevention, but still this work is done by volunteers.

“The women’s safety sector has said for a decade that they need $1bil each year to be able to help everyone who reaches out for help, rather than having to turn people away back to violence. The Government has allocated less than half of that amount with their Action Plan – just $2.23 billion over five years, less than half the $5 billion the sector needs to ensure no one is turned away.

“Women on low wages or income support are especially vulnerable without the resources to escape violent situations. Yet this government persists with the cruelty of keeping income support payments like JobSeeker below the poverty line, and has the audacity to cry poor while dishing out hundreds of billions in tax cuts and investment property perks for the rich.

“The housing crisis is felt even more acutely by women and children experiencing family and domestic violence. Women are forced to choose between abuse or homelessness, because there is nowhere to go.

“Violence against women and children has not reduced since the first National Plan to end it 12 years ago. Labor must provide the funds required for the National Plan to succeed, or they risk squandering another decade, and more women’s lives.

“While the Labor Government continues to underfund frontline family and domestic violence services, victim-survivors are turned away from crisis accommodation and one woman is murdered every 10 days in this country.”

As stated by Greens spokesperson on First Nations Justice, Senator Dorinda Cox

“While I welcome the First Action Plan, the Government must be more ambitious and courageous in its efforts to tackle the issue of violence against First Nations women.

“Better funding of services is crucial and we have been calling for an investment of $10 billion dollars over 10 years to ensure frontline services are equipped and resourced to deal with the increase in family violence.

“What is required is a strategic and trauma informed approach and investment, that is tailored to the communities where people live, because a one size fits all, cookie cutter approach won’t work.

“We must think outside a police, justice and corrections response, and instead look at primary prevention, cultural change and bringing women and communities on board the development of our response and actions and we need to have indigenous women at the table during the planning of these services.

“As part of the work that I have been doing with the federal inquiry into Missing and Murdered First Nations Women and Children, we have heard harrowing stories from families and we need their grief and loss to translate into real change.

“It is simply unacceptable that our women are subjected to violence, are injured and killed leaving children without mothers.

“It was devastating and heartbreaking to hear at a candlelight vigil, the raw grief and pain of the family of Tiffany Woodley. No family should endure that pain.”

/Public Release. View in full here.