Home is where the heart is, but according to these shocking statistics, it’s also where most of the wrath is. Data from the government states that three quarters of all assaults against women happen in the home.
According to Danielle Green, Shadow Minister for Women, the previous Labor Government invested almost $180 million in initiatives and programs that targeted family violence. Ms Green says that the Labor funded specialist Family Violence Court Divisions, mandatory behavioural change programs, more emergency housing support and more family violence lawyers at Community Legal Centres. Labor also introduced legislation that defined family violence and recognised its horrific effects on women and children.
“We increased counselling and 24-hour emergency support for victims. We changed the culture of reporting. I had the privilege of being named the first Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, something the Napthine Government has failed to match,” she says.
“Unfortunately since Denis Napthine’s Liberal Government came to office it has scrapped Labor’s 10-year plan, along with many more important reforms and failed to tackle family violence. The Liberals cut funding to the Justice Department and Victoria Police, and decimated the team of dedicated experts who were working to prevent family violence in our community,” says Ms Danielle Green. She adds that the Napthine government failed to appropriately fund Legal Aid, putting at risk the network of specialist family violence lawyers across community legal services. “The Napthine Government axed Bsafe, a program that pioneered emergency ‘SOS’ alarms in households and helped prevent family violence in rural areas,” she says.
He also believes that Napthine’s budget doesn’t do enough to reduce the incidents of family violence and breached intervention orders that have increased alarmingly over the last three years. “People at risk of family violence need more support, but under Denis Napthine and the Liberals they aren’t getting it. Family violence is an epidemic in our community but Denis Napthine is refusing to act,” says Ms Green.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Magazine in Australia)