What a week! There has been a great deal of activity in the area of preventing and responding to violence as governments and community representatives gathered in Brisbane on 28 October for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Summit on Violence against Women and their Children. The Prime Minister used the Summit to reiterate his call for cultural change towards gender equality, while some States and Territories urged further action, including a new Medicare item for family violence counselling and paid family violence leave to be included in the National Employment Standards.
The Summit was also the platform for the release of the Third Action Plan (2016–2019) of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (2010–2022). Among other things, the Third Action Plan raises the visibility of sexual violence, which has been overshadowed by the recent emphasis on domestic and family violence, and also emphasises the vital role of specialist women’s services, including those represented in AWAVA’s membership. Read AWAVA’s response to the release of the Third Action Plan here.
Other media releases and responses:
- The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has applauded the inclusion in the Third Action Plan of key actions focusing on migrant women, such as developing appropriate visa arrangements for temporary residents subjected to violence.
- The National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) has acknowledged the limited additional family violence funding for Community Legal Centres
- Our Watch has welcomed the Third Action Plan and its commitment to implementing Change the Story
- Domestic Violence NSW CEO Moo Baulch has told The Project that ‘significant gaps’ remain in funding for homelessness service providers and community legal centres.
In other news:
- Rosie Batty has said she is ‘disturbed’ that the Australian Government can find $180 million for a plebiscite but cannot fund domestic violence legal reform, highlighting the fact that perpetrators are still allowed to directly cross-examine victims of domestic violence in Family Court cases, among other problems.
- ANROWS has released a major research report documenting the ‘burden of disease’ caused by intimate partner violence, finding that this violence is the largest cause of disease for women and girls aged 14 to 44 years.
- The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples has warned that it may be forced to cease operations in 2017, after it was de-funded by the Commonwealth Government, while co-chair Dr Jackie Huggins said the Congress had a strong heartbeat and was not going without a fight. Co-chair Rod Little highlighted the importance of the Congress’s representative role in the context of major issues including domestic and family violence.
- WESNET is hosting the Inaugural Technology Safety Summit in Sydney on 21 November 2016. This one-day conference will focus on the various complex issues and concerns that come from the intersection of technology and domestic and sexual violence, and stalking. The Tech Summit will bring together those working with women and their children experiencing violence and other stakeholders from government and corporate Australia. Attendees of the Tech Summit will learn how technology can be misused as a tactic of abuse, how women experiencing gender-based violence can use technology to improve their safety and privacy, how digital evidence can be collected to hold perpetrators accountable, and how agencies can strengthen policies and practices to improve service delivery, and what other support technology and telecommunications companies can provide. To find out more and register please visit the conference website.
- The Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children (MAEVe) is hosting a roundtable on ‘Financial abuse in the United Kingdom’, facilitated by Prof Cathy Humphries, on Friday 11 November. For more information click here.
- On 14 November our member organisation DV Victoria is joining with other organisations in calling for people to gather in support of Domestic and Family Violence Leave. For more information click here.
- Lucy’s Project is inviting everyone to join the “Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse-International Perspectives, Conference 2016”, which will be held from 5-6 of November at the Portside Conference Centre, near Wynyard Station, Sydney CBD. Click here to book tickets.
- The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) is hiring a Communications Advisor for a one year full-time contract until 30 June 2017 with possibility of extension. Applications close 13 Nov. Click here for more information.
- The National Rural Women’s Coalition is launching “Brave Danny” a picture book for children on 24th November from 5-7 pm at Melbourne Ether Conference Centre, 265 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. The book was written by Robin Adolps for children and illustrated by Nicky Johnston. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Adelaide White Ribbon Breakfast will be held on 25 November at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 6:45 am to 9:00 am. The guest speaker will be the honourable Marcia Neave, chair of the recent Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. Book here.
- The University of Melbourne has created a website called ‘NotTheOnlyOne’where women can anonymously read and share stories about experiencing family and domestic violence.
- Soroptomist International Australia is sponsoring the Rosie Batty Roadshow, which will make its final stop in Adelaide on 7 November Proceeds will go to the Women’s Legal Services in each capital. To buy your tickets click here.