On International Women’s Day both the major political parties delivered telling, yet contrasting political statements on pertinent policy issues. Only one, the LNP’s, received any media coverage.
Their decision to host an International Women’s Day celebration luncheon at an exclusive Brisbane club that only allows men to be members has been met with universal ridicule in both the mainstream media and social media.
This decision has surprised nobody. It fits in with their policy narrative when it comes to women’s issues. Complete misunderstanding.
All day, minute after minute, somebody somewhere has been writing about the LNP luncheon and the deserved condemnation with the choice of venue being the dominant talking point.
Labor, meanwhile, have been trying to shout above the noise but it appears no one is listening.
The only forum they have an audience is through sending out emails to the party faithful (and other interested parties).
Today Bill Shorten sent an email that – although far more important an issue than the LNP’s luncheon farce – has not been given one breath of oxygen in the media. And the subject matter – violence against women – has sadly been given not one breath of oxygen by the government.
We in the social media consider it important. And we demand it be given importance.
This site is not a policy platform for the Labor Party but Mr Shorten’s email deserves wider coverage than it has been given and this site, hopefully, can provide it with a good start. Bill wrote:
There is no clearer symbol of continuing gender inequality in our society than the epidemic of violence against women and the chilling statistics that go with it.
1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
17 per cent of Australian women have experienced violence by a current or previous partner in their lifetime.
20 per cent of Australian women who have experienced current partner violence reported it to police.
Family violence is the number 1 cause of homelessness amongst women in Australia.
The biggest risk factor for being a victim of family violence is being a woman.
And so far this year, we’ve seen an average of two women have been killed each week at the hands of their partners or former-partners.
This is not acceptable.
That’s why I’ve called on the Prime Minister to hold a national crisis summit on family violence as soon as possible. Failing that, Labor will hold a summit within 100 days of being elected and invest in interim measures — because it is the responsibility of every one of us to end this.
We must change these awful statistics and you can read Labor’s plan to get started on that work here.
The nightmare of family violence is a reality for far too many Australian women. No one should have to face this ordeal on their own. This is a crisis for our nation. We cannot waste another day, we must start work now.
Thank you for standing with every Australian experiencing family violence.
The link in the email is worth following. It leads to something that many people believe Labor have ignored since the 2013 election: a policy! And a policy that has been and will be unheralded in the mainstream media yet one that should be shouted from the rooftops. I’m sure the Labor Party won’t mind if I replicate it here (after all, social media is the only media friend the ALP have).
Labor will make a series of critical investments in services and programs that directly support women and children escaping family violence.
Labor’s interim package will deliver more than $70 million over three years in targeted funding to ensure those suffering from family violence can access critical services.
$47.4 million for targeted legal services
Labor will invest $42.9 million in frontline legal services to ensure women threatened by violence are not alone in going through the legal system. $4.5 million will also be invested in Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS) to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children experiencing family violence:
- We will invest in community legal centres (CLCs) and frontline services to better support people affected by family violence going through the court system including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services. The new funding we are announcing for community legal centres will be targeted at providing assistance in family violence and related matters.
- Embedded within support services will be the diverse needs of victims from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, migrants, refugees and people from a non-English speaking background, people with disability, older women and other vulnerable groups.
- Family Violence Prevention Legal Services provide more frontline and holistic legal assistance for the past 15 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims of family violence, currently providing services in 31 regional and remote locations. Labor will provide support for additional capacity to FVPLS to share best practice with other legal services on culturally-specific-training and build capacity within the organisation.
$15 million for a Safe at Home grants program
Labor will provide an initial $15 million in grants to community organisations, local government or other appropriate providers that help people affected by family violence stay safe in their own homes and in their communities. This could include infrastructure such as:
- key changes and lock upgrades to doors and windows;
- sensor and security lighting;
- security screen doors;
- external CCTV cameras, training and monitoring;
- alarm systems.
In addition, we will map and understand best practice of existing state safe and home strategies, including risk assessments, for implementation across Australia.
$8.4 million to improve perpetrator interaction mapping
Labor will invest $8.4 million into research on mapping perpetrator interactions across family violence, law enforcement, justice, child protection and related systems. This investment will aim to:
- Identify and monitor opportunities to interrupt forthcoming violent behaviours through information sharing and specific accountability strengthening measures.
- Research to increase our knowledge of how perpetrators track through these systems
- Better understand the role and effectiveness of risk assessment systems to build a comprehensive understanding of perpetrator behaviours, including a longitudinal study.
So who do you trust to address domestic violence? Today’s messages alone would suggest that we can rule out the government.