Greens announce $100 million plan to tackle Domestic Violence

Green’s candidate for Ballina, Tamara Smith and Greens NSW MP, Dr Mehreen Faruqi launched their comprehensive plan to end Domestic and Family Violence outside the Byron Shire Women’s Resource Service located at the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre.

The $100 million plan focusses on an integrated, coordinated and collaborative approach to tackle the cycle of violence and eliminate the root causes.

The Greens plan recognises the critical importance of investment in primary prevention – such as whole of community education and awareness as well as specialist support services that respond to the needs of women and children experiencing violence – especially crisis counselling and accommodation.

“Domestic violence is a state emergency with 135,000 reported cases of domestic violence across NSW in 2012 alone. The stark and shocking statistics of domestic and family violence are unacceptable, yet for too long meaningful and systemic actions to tackle this serious issue have been sadly lacking.

“The Greens NSW Domestic and Family Violence Plan will invest $100 million per year in new funding to support initiatives prioritising prevention strategies and programs to help break the cycle of systemic domestic and family violence as well as more support to frontline services. Womens_Resouce_Service.jpg

“The Greens are calling for a dedicated Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence to coordinate an integrated approach across agencies to eliminate domestic violence.

“The Coalition government’s chaotic ‘Going Home Staying Home’ program is irresponsible, shows a real ignorance for the needs of women facing domestic violence and a disregard for their safety.

“Funding to women-only services must be restored and increased so they can provide crisis and long-term counselling and support services, and significant additional funding allocated to respond to the specific needs of higher-risk women including those living in rural/regional NSW, Aboriginal and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and those with a disability.

“We owe it to the next generation to stop this cycle of violence and this means a focus on prevention. It is not enough to step in once the damage is done" said Greens NSW MP, Spokeswoman for the Status of Women, Dr Mehreen Faruqi.

“Statistics indicate that the North Coast region has some of the highest domestic violence rates in the state, so it is absolutely essential for women and children suffering domestic violence situations to be able to access the support and safety of well-resourced services in their local area.

“The Women’s Resource Service based here in Mullumbimby is a great service providing case management, coordination, referral and counselling to women in the Byron Shire who have experienced domestic violence. However, it’s shocking to hear that they are struggling to cover basic operational costs, like printing new copies of their key resource, the ‘Charmed and Dangerous’ booklet that they give to local women. They are seeking $2,000 for a re-print as they are down to their last 15 copies. Clearly greater government investment is needed in the sector.

“Domestic and family violence is a whole of community issue. From the schoolyard to the boardroom, the root causes of domestic and family violence need to be acknowledged and dealt with. Gender inequality, power imbalance, sexist attitudes, social isolation and alcohol abuse must be addressed if governments, the community and businesses are to make any headway on this issue.

“To be successful violence prevention initiatives must permeate all parts of society – schools, workplaces, businesses, sport and recreation organisations, media – and be supported by a coordinated, integrated approach between governments and communities.

“Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year, recently said to women and children who are victims of violence ‘you do not deserve to live a life that is dictated by violence’. We must do everything possible to stop the cycle of violence" said Greens candidate for Ballina, Tamara Smith.

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