With the NSW state election looming, crunch time has arrived for women to participate in democracy and have their voices heard. In October 2018, an alliance of more than 14 statewide organisations delivered a proposal to an audience of MPs from a range of political parties, outlining their recommendations for the legislative, policy, service delivery and cultural changes needed to make NSW ‘A Safe State’for everyone.
Despite a detailed list of policy recommendations being delivered, none of Australia’s major political parties has publicly committed to supporting the strategy in full. The Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service NSW (WDVCAS NSW) believes this Sunday’s Women’s March in Sydney’s Hyde Park is the time to change this.
“Violence against women affects all of us in one way or another. It is not just the media headlines we see every day. It’s our sisters, our mothers, our daughters and our friends. We all have the power to change this story,” said Hayley Foster, Director of WDVCAS NSW.
20.01.19: Five Reasons to March
- NSW is not safe: The most dangerous place for a woman to be in NSW is in her home. Intimate partner violence is the leading preventablecause of death, disability and illness for women aged 15 to 44 years.
- Show us the money: NSW, despite becoming the first Australian state to have a net worth of a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2018, while net debt reached a historic low of negative $11.2 billion, has invested less than 0.02% of its’ budget on specific domestic violence interventions.
- We need to change the system: Women and children should not be forced to flee their homes because of violence. The NSW Government needs to invest in a system which defaults to supporting women and children to remain in their homes and communities safely.
- Cultural cringe: It’s time for our government to put its money where its mouth is and start investing in and creating programs that change the outdated and unacceptable attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence against women.
- Use your vote: Issues of women’s safety continue to rate as marginal priorities for the majority of elected members of parliament, despite the fact that there are more women than men in Australia.
About: WDVCAS NSW is the peak body for the 29 Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCAS) state-wide, which deliver the primary specialist response for women who have experienced domestic and family violence in NSW. Last year, 44,000 women with 37,000 accompanying children were supported by WDVCASs statewide. WDVCAS NSW advocates on systemic issues impacting upon women and their children who have experienced domestic and family violence through legislative, policy and practice reform. Right now, as part of ‘A Safe State’,WDVCAS NSW is campaigning for increased funding to support women and their children beyond the initial crisis period, to achieve safety, justice and wellbeing.
Media: For interviews or more information on the NSW Safe State proposal, contact Hayley Foster on 0474 779 847. For general enquiries, contact 1800 938 227.