Domestic & Family Violence Funding barely scratches the surface

24 February 2020

I rise to speak in support of this matter of public urgency. Senators spoke earlier today of the shocking murder of Hannah Clarke and her three young children. Tragically, events like their deaths at the hands of a parent and former partner are all too common. As legislators, we have the power to do more. That is why the announcement by the Minister for Social Services last week of only $2.4 million towards men's behavioural change programs has left me incredibly bewildered. The announcement is welcome, but it's only a drop in the ocean. The sector truly needs a lot more. On top of that, why is the funding only available in three states—New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia? The minister hasn't explained why the funding is so low and why the funding is limited to those three states.

Domestic violence is borderless, affecting every community and socioeconomic group across the nation. My home state of South Australia is desperate for more funding for behavioural change programs. One South Australian service, KWY, do incredible work helping Aboriginal families in South Australia. The safety of women and children is at the heart of everything they do. They provide specialist knowledge and culturally appropriate services to break the cycle of domestic violence. They run a specialised 12-week Accountability, Responsibility to Change, ARC, program, using cultural ways to engage Aboriginal men. But, incredibly, South Australia was left out of last week's announcement, and programs like the one run by KWY are at risk because of very little funding. Indigenous Australians are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised for domestic violence than non-Indigenous people—32 times!

If the government is really serious about tackling the scourge of domestic violence in Australia, it needs to get serious about providing the funding that prevention and support services ask for, and not limit it to three states. At the moment, it's barely scratching the surface, and the women and children who are facing this daily reality very much deserve so much more.

Post your comment

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments

Coronavirus
23 March 2020
These are unusual times and frightening times. It's a time when we all need to pull together to support each other and very much not...
Read More
Call to ban child abuse Japanese anime and manga
25 February 2020
Child exploitation is a global problem, heightened by modern technology and the myriad of platforms that are used to access such material.
Read More
Our heartfelt tribute to Hannah Clarke and family
24 February 2020
I also rise to join the chorus of moving tributes to Hannah Clarke and her beloved and beautiful children, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey.
Read More
We need to be careful that a carbon-neutral future doesn't impact more than our climate
24 February 2020
Australia is at a point in its history where it needs to take decisive action on climate change and reduce its emissions.
Read More