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POLICY LAUNCH: Ending violence against women

Media Release
Larissa Waters 27 Feb 2022

As women and allies across the country take to the streets again demanding change, the Greens have released a comprehensive plan to fully fund domestic violence services, invest in consent education and prevention programs, and trial initiatives including a national domestic violence disclosure scheme and a trauma recovery centre for victim-survivors.

At least 700 women have been murdered since the first National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children was adopted 12 years ago. Seven women have been killed by violence already in 2022, and demand for domestic violence services continues to grow. 

The Greens have a plan to address the culture that has tolerated violence against women for far too long. We will: 

  • Invest $12 billion over 12 years to fully fund frontline domestic violence support services, so that no victim-survivor is turned away when they seek help
  • Invest $477 million over four years to support the national rollout of Our Watch’s Respectful Relationships education program in all public schools
  • Support women fleeing abusive relationships by providing $10,000 Survivor Grants and 10 days paid domestic violence leave 
  • Support a detailed, outcome-focused National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children, which recognises specialist needs of vulnerable communities, and a standalone National Plan to End Violence Against First Nations Women and Children, designed and implemented by First Nations women and community organisations
  • Fund innovative safety initiatives:
    • trial a national disclosure scheme to provide details of a partner’s violent history 
    • demonstrate the value of holistic recovery programs through a five-year pilot at the Illawarra Women’s Trauma Recovery Centre
  • Double funding for women’s legal services and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services and reform the family law system to adopt a safety-first approach
  • Adopt all recommendations in the Respect@Work report, including a positive duty to prevent sexual harassment and funding for Working Women’s Centres
  • Adopt all recommendations in the Set the Standard report, to ensure all staff working in parliamentary workplaces are safe and respected
  • Close the gender pay gap, address the housing crisis, and provide women with more economic security

Quotes attributable to Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on women Senator Larissa Waters:

“Australia is in an epidemic of gendered violence and harassment. Women as young as 12 report sexual harassment in public. One in three Australian women experience abuse in their lifetime.

“First Nations women, women from culturally diverse backgrounds, women in regional areas, older women, LGBTIQ+ women, and women with a disability are even more likely to experience violence.

“Enough with empty promises. Enough with victim blaming. Enough with downplaying the effect of gender inequality and rape culture. Enough with ignoring the impact of financial insecurity and housing stress on women’s capacity to leave. Enough with underfunding the services needed to end this epidemic of violence. 

“Enough is enough. Women deserve better than a male-dominated government led by a PM who needed his wife to remind him that sexual assault is bad, whose own office backgrounded journalists against Brittany Higgins, and who refused to launch an inquiry into rape allegations made against his own Attorney-General.

“The Morrison government’s draft National Plan is big on promises, short on detail and largely silent on funding, which is perhaps to be expected from a government that favours rhetorical flourishes over concrete action when it comes to protecting women.

“Frontline services have been very clear that they need $1 billion a year simply to meet existing demand and ensure that no woman seeking help is turned away, but the government stumped up only a quarter of that in last year’s budget.

“This is the same government that spends $10 billion a year on subsidies to tax-dodging fossil fuel companies, and will hand out $10 billion to men in just the first year of the stage 3 tax cuts!

“Women deserve better than that, and $1 billion each year is a very small price to pay to ensure every Australian woman is safe at work, at home and in public. The Greens would provide the funding frontline DV services are calling for, and ensure the National Plan sets clear outcomes and targets and supports specialist services to address the needs of vulnerable communities.

“The Greens would also properly fund prevention programs and invest $477 million over four years to roll out Our Watch’s Respectful Relationships education in all public schools to tackle the gender stereotypes and disrespect that drive gendered violence. 

“No-one should have to choose between leaving an abusive relationship and feeding their kids. No-one should have to risk their job to find safety. The Greens will provide $10,000 Survivor Grants to support those fleeing abuse to start over, and require businesses to provide 10 days paid domestic violence leave for all workers.

“We’ll fund innovative women’s safety initiatives, like a national trial of a domestic violence disclosure scheme modelled on the successful South Australian program. 

“As Grace Tame has set out so clearly, recovery from trauma is long, hard and complex. It is also essential to help victim-survivors to rebuild their lives. The Greens will invest $28.5 million in the Illawarra Women’s Trauma Recovery Centre, Australia’s first trauma recovery space dedicated to survivors of sexual, family and domestic violence.

“Today, all around the country, women and allies are echoing the bravery and advocacy of women like Brittany Higgins, Dhanya Mani and Chanel Contos, and saying enough.

“Talk is cheap, and women are done with empty rhetoric. It’s time for action.”

Quotes attributable to Greens Senate candidate for South Australia Barbara Pocock:

“Tragic experience has taught us the value of ensuring that those who fear they are at risk of domestic violence can get accurate information about their partner’s police history.

“The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme has proven its worth in SA and is now a permanent part of the state’s response to domestic, family and sexual violence. It’s helped so many South Australians who fear they may be at risk of DV, or are concerned about the welfare of someone they know.

“By extending it across Australia, people at risk can make informed decisions about their safety and that of their children, and get specialised DV support in assessing risk and safety planning.

“This is not about mere curiosity: it’s about keeping people, especially women, well informed and safe.”

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