Today the Turnbull Government announced a $100 million package to combat Domestic Violence in Australia.
Australian police deal with an estimated 657 domestic violence matters on average every day of the year. That’s one every two minutes. Those figures are based on data provided by police services around the country about how often their officers work on domestic violence cases. Overall, the count is 239,846 per year around the country.
The details of the package (which are below) were taken directly off the statement that Prime Minister Turnbull released today. I applaud the measures however they are primarily only focussed on the safety of potential victims: which is awesome, but it is not dealing with the issue of what is driving men (predominately) to hit the women they once loved. Maybe there should be more efforts to combat the culture of binge drinking, coming down harder on recreational drug use instead of what appears to be law enforcement turning a blind eye, dealing with culture of gambling that produces the 250,000 Australian gambling addicts (I know these aren’t all men), and change the world that seems to in the main, mistreat women…
And yet a criticism I have of the package is that its very female centric and as we all know, domestic violence can impact men as well.
It also doesn’t address the lenient sentences that at times are handed down by the court system to offenders and repeat offenders.
Anyway here are the details.
Immediate practical actions to keep women safe include:
- $12 million to trial with states the use of innovative technology to keep women safe (such as GPS trackers for perpetrators), with funding to be matched by states and territories.
- $5 million for safer technology, including working with telecommunications companies to distribute safe phones to women, and with the eSafety Commissioner to develop a resource package about online safety for women, including for women from CALD communities.
- $17 million to keep women safe in their homes by expanding successful initiatives like the Safer in the Home programme to install CCTV cameras and other safety equipment, and a grant to the Salvation Army to work with security experts to conduct risk assessments on victim’s homes, help change their locks and scan for bugs.
- $5 million to expand 1800RESPECT, the national telephone and online counselling and information service, to ensure more women can get support.
- $2 million increased funding for MensLine for tools and resources to support perpetrators not to reoffend.
- Up to $15 million to enable police in Qld to better respond to domestic violence in remote communities and for measures that reduce reoffending by Indigenous perpetrators.
- $3.6 million for the Cross Border Domestic Violence Intelligence Desk to share information on victims and perpetrators who move around the cross border region of WA, SA and the NT.
Immediate measures to improve support and services for women will include increased training for frontline staff and trials of integrated service models:
- $14 million to expand the DV-alert training programme to police, social workers, emergency department staff and community workers to better support women, and work with the College of General Practitioners to develop and deliver specialised training to GPs across the country.
- $15 million to establish specialised domestic violence units to provide access to coordinated legal, social work and cultural liaison services for women in a single location, and allow legal services to work with local hospitals, including for women from CALD communities and women living in regional/remote areas.
- $5 million for local women’s case workers, to coordinate support for women, including housing, safety and budgeting services.
- $1.4 million to extend the Community Engagement Police Officers in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern territory.
- Up to $1.1 million to help remote Indigenous communities prevent and better respond to the incidence of domestic violence through targeted support.
$5 million will also be provided as a longer-term measure to change the attitudes of young people to violence, through expanding the Safer Schools website to include resources for teachers, parents and students on respectful relationships. This will build on the $30 million national campaign (jointly funded by the Commonwealth, states and territories) to change young people’s attitudes to violence, which will commence in early 2016.