Domestic and family violence were a key new’s focus last week with major announcements in Victoria (see below for a round-up!) and the 7th National Homelessness Conference highlighting the impact domestic and family violence can have on women and their children.  Bob McColl, ABS Statistician,  pointed out at the conference that domestic violence is still the number one driver of homelessness in Australia and AWAVA’s Chair, Julie Oberin, emphasised the need to link gender inequality to violence against women.

The news…

Around the Country

  • The Australian reports that, in Victoria, domestic violence accounts for 38% of assaults.   Read the Herald Sun’s Opinion Piece here as well as Premier Ted Baillieu pledging an extra $16 million for counselling and support services in Victoria (includes Vic Police statistics)
  • Women’s Health Victoria says that increased reports of domestic and family violence is not all bad news – read their media release outlining greater community confidence to report to police and that police are taking matters seriously
  • Read the formal Victorian Government announcement of $16million funding boost for services, including:
    • an extra $9.25 million for additional family violence counselling and case management, supporting an additional 1,200 women and children a year
    • an extra $3.75 million for sexual assault counselling, which is expected to decrease overall waiting times from an average of 6 weeks to approximately 3 weeks and allow virtually all victims of recent assaults to be seen at the time of reporting or soon afterwards; and
    • an extra $3 million for men’s behaviour changes programs to nearly double the number of places in court-directed programs, and to pilot new schemes for teenagers who are violent in their homes and offenders in prison or on community based orders
  • AWAVA Advisory Group Members, DVVic, made comment in the media following the announcements- click here for ABC news interview.  Fiona McCormack, DV Vic CEO in this interview states that the $16 million is welcomed but the reality is it isn’t anywhere near enough to meet demand.  Investment is needed in preventing violence before it happens in the first place and it’s not an ‘either/or’ for investment
  • Women’s Health Victoria will launched its campaign Women can be Healthy, Empowered and Equal to link in with Melbourne Spring Fashion week (3 “ 9 September 2012) which included Violence against Women as a focus
  • More from Women’s Health Victoria: Take a Stand engages men at work to prevent family violence
  • Take some time to read Anne Summers’s speech at the  2012 Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture to the University of Newcastle. Her speech looks at the sexism and discrimination experienced by Julia Gillard – and please take note of the warning she gives at the start of the speech!


Get Involved!

The House of Representatives inquiry into Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking is now calling for submissions. Submissions close Friday 28 September. Click here to find out more


Upcoming Events


  • WESNET’s Safety Net Technology Safety Training is coming to Canberra – click here for more information and to register


  • The Participatory Justice and Victims Conference will be held in Canberra, 17-18 September
  • The Southern Regional Alliance conference is now open for registrations and will be held 20-21 September
  • Take action on Peace Day 21 September, and become part of the largest gathering of people in the name of Peace and non violence. Watch the YouTube clip here
  • A FREE Workshop on responding to Older people at risk of family violence will be held 24 September in Victoria – click here for more details
  • Women’s Legal Services NSW will hold its 30th Birthday Celebration Gala Dinner on 26 September
  • Standing firm for change: a journey to justice is a national conference run by the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service Victoria. The conference will be held on 21-23 November 2012, in Melbourne.  Registration is open until 30 September




  • Australian Women’s Coalition is calling young women between 18 – 30 years who live, study or work in Auburn, Bankstown, Liverpool or Coffs Harbour NSW, or in Canberra, ACT to be a part of SHOUT!  A series of three free workshops will run in each location, complemented by an online network of support and skills-sharing and a local network of participants and AWC member organisations. The workshops will culminate in community events on Harmony Day next year, 21 March 2013. Find out more here


  • The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children (School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University), in partnership with the Ending Violence Association of British Columbia (EVA BC), the Canadian Observatory on the Justice System™s Response to Intimate Partner Violence, and the BC Society of Transition Houses, invites you to join the 2012 National Research Day conference,  held 7-9 November in Vancouver