At a time when the Australian community is questioning the gender balance in Parliament, the Prime Minister’s announcement today on ensuring a Safe and Secure Australia provides a tragically costly example of how women's lives and experiences have become marginalised in both public discourse and public policy.
The most dangerous place for a woman and her children is in her home. However, of the multi-billion dollar funding package announced today to ‘keep Australia Safe and Secure’, just $78 million has been earmarked for initiatives to address the epidemic of violence against women and children in our communities.
“The Federal Government is well aware that domestic and family violence was responsible for 69 femicides last year, and is the principal cause of homelessness, poverty and social dislocation for women and children across the Nation,” says Hayley Foster, Director of the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service NSW (WDVCAS NSW). “It is also the single biggest preventable cause of death, disability and illness in Australian women aged between 15 and 44 years.”
“The $78 million announced today for crisis accommodation and 'keeping women safe in their homes' initiatives do not reflect a substantive commitment by the Government in taking this issue seriously.”
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