The Victorian Government has sealed its commitment to protecting women and children and preventing violence with its newly released 10 Year Plan to End Family Violence. The Government has promised to implement the 227 recommendations made by Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence. Specifically, the Plan commits the Victorian Government to the following goals:
- Establish a network of Support and Safety Hubs across Victoria, where victims/survivors can access the support they need to stay safe
- Recruit new specialist family violence workers to support women and their children to access services they need to stay safe and get back on their feet
- Invest a further $218 million in social housing and private rental assistance, bringing housing investment to $600 million since the Royal Commission report
- Strengthen intervention orders, tighten up the bail process, and allow for the better sharing of information so a victim/survivor’s right to safety has priority over a perpetrator’s right to privacy
- Provide specialist training to Victoria Police officers who play a critical role in responding to family violence and upgrade courts to provide greater security for victims/survivors
- Initiate a Primary Prevention strategy, alongside a state-wide behavioural change campaign, to help stop family violence happening in the first place.
We will be watching closely as these significant commitments are implemented. As AWAVA noted in our response to the recent release of the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, we urgently need commensurate commitments of funding from the Australian Government, including security for services funded under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.
- Rosie Batty has launched 1800RESPECT’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, Stand Together, releasing a short video outlining four simple steps people can take to respond effectively to someone who is affected by domestic or family violence. The campaign was launched in conjunction with 1800RESPECT’s Frontline Workers Toolkit, which includes useful tools and resources.
- The New South Wales government has introduced plain-language domestic violence orders, meaning that offenders will no longer be able to argue that they could not comprehend the order due to legal jargon. Orders will also be translated into 29 different languages to encourage compliance.
- In the Australian Parliament, Labor MP Emma Husar has spoken about her personal experience of domestic violence in a speech urging fellow parliamentarians to support efforts to prevent such violence.
- Also in national politics, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has proposed reforms to the Family Law Act that would protect victims from being cross examined by perpetrators during court proceedings.
- In New South Wales, Unions have launched the “We Won’t Wait” campaign, supporting the case before the Fair Work Commission calling for the inclusion of domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards (NES).
- In Alice Spring, hundreds of people rallied on the street marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women march, while Northern Territory Police continued to respond to domestic violence calls during the day.
- Gold Coast Health Queensland has appointed a new Domestic and Family Violence Coordinator who will be responsible for the delivery of the agency’s support services to women and children.
- In the Gold Coast, Friends with Dignity has launched the Little Friends campaign, which will distribute free entertainment packs to children traumatised by violence.
- The government of Jamaica has proposed a National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence in 2017 that is aimed at improving the implementation of laws and providing support services for survivors.
- In Bangladesh Marat Yu, project manager of HERproject, has been campaigning to end violence against women in the workplace. He encourages companies to participate in the #16DaysOfActivism against gender based violence and adopt broader strategies to curb harassment and abuse of women in the workplace.
- In Latin America, Latina women have rallied in the major cities of Bogota, Buenos Aires, Chile, Nicaragua and Montevideo wearing the orange colour in support for the global #16Days campaign against gender based-violence.
- The government of Nigeria with support from the United Nations Population Fund has developed a Standard Operating Procedures for Prevention of and Response to Gender-based Violence for humanitarian workers in Adamawa state.
- The Australian Housing and Urban Research Unit (AHURI) has released the research paper, The financing, delivery and effectiveness of programs to reduce homelessness, which shows that homelessness services cannot meet current demand, and concludes that future funding certainty is crucial to continue providing services. Moreover, AHURI’s Australian Homelessness Funding and Delivery Survey has also found that current levels of funding are estimated to be below levels required to meet client demand on homelessness services.
- In Ireland, Women’s Aid has published Behind Closed Doors, a report tracking “femicides” between 1996 and 2016. The report documents the ways in which women and girls were killed as well as the areas in which most killings occurred.
- Public Services International (PSI) with support from the International Labor Organisation (ILO) has published Tackling Violence in the Health Sector, presenting findings of country reports from Congo, the Philippines and Argentina.
- The International Organization for Migration, United Nations Information Centre Canberra and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cordially invite you to celebrate International Migrants Day with a free screening of the new Australian documentary Constance on the Edge on Thursday, 15 December 2016. Click here to register.
- The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (ACT Branch) in association with ANU Gender Institute invites everyone to a talk by Libby Lloyd AM, former chair of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, on “Australia’s Response to Violence against Women: Progress and Pitfalls”. It will be held on the 30th of November in Theatre 2, Hedley Bull Building, ANU.
- In Melbourne, the Global Women’s Project will hold “Trailblazing Women of Herstory”, a fundraising feminist art extravaganza. The events began on the 25th of November with a Gala launch and will culminate on the 10th of December with performances of women in “Mother Tougue”. All events will be held at Neospace, 7 Campbell Street Collingwood, VIC 3066. For more information click here.
- ANROWS and the Tasmanian government invite everyone to the launch of ‘ASPIRE’, a Horizons Report on promoting community-led responses to violence against immigrant and refugee women in metropolitan and regional Australia. The launch will be held on 8 of December at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, 25 Hunter Street, Hobart. This event is free. Register here.
- The National Women’s Alliances, including AWAVA, are preparing our submission to the Australian Government on its priorities for the next session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) and we would love to hear from you. In 2017, the CSW’s priority theme is women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. We have tonnes of information about this theme, but we need to focus our submission down to key areas… and we need your help! Please fill in our brief survey here. The survey closes on 30 November.
- The UN Women National Committee Australia invites everyone to the celebration of the 2017 International Women’s Day events in March happening simultaneously in 6 major cities around the country. For more information click here.
- 1800RESPECT will be holding a webinar on “Improving Cultural Understanding and Engagement with people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities” on 1 December 2016, 1pm AEDT. The presenter will be Craig Rigney of Kornar Winmil Yunti (KWY). Register 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.
Credits for the images used in this round-up:
Department of Social Services- National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children cover image
1800RESPECT- Frontline Workers Toolkit cover photo
NSW Unions- “We Won’t Wait” campaign poster
HERproject- HER+project logo
Latin American Post- “Ni Una Menos” photo
Sharon Rose Dadang- Get Involved! header
The Global Women’s Project- TRailblazing Women of Herstory poster
UN Women National Committee Australia- UN International Women’s Day poster
Women’s Aid- Behind Closed Doors cover image
ANROWS- ANROWS logo