Australian Governments outlined a strategy to eradicate violence against women and children within a generation

Australian Governments Outlined A Strategy To Eradicate Violence Against Women And Children Within A Generation
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The Australian government has pledged to end violence against women and children in “one generation.” A new, 10-year national strategy has been developed in order to unify federal and state efforts to implement the ambitious plan.

The plan makes dozens of recommendations to improve violence prevention and response in Australia’s media, schools, justice systems, technology companies, the health sector, and perpetrators themselves.

‚ÄúViolence against women and children is not inevitable,‚ÄĚ the report said. ‚ÄúBy addressing the social, cultural, political and economic factors that drive this gendered violence, we can end it in one generation.‚ÄĚ


Key Takeaways

  • Under the Morrison government, work on creating the most recent strategy on eradicating violence against women and children began months ago.
  • Compared to the Coalition’s preliminary plan, which was made public prior to the election, this approach is more comprehensive.
  • To address the long-term effects of violence on victims and survivors, it includes a focus on recovery and healing.
  • Plan calls for¬†better crisis housing¬†and assisting men to develop ‚Äúhealthy masculinities‚ÄĚ.

The plan has been endorsed by the Commonwealth, state, and territory governments. It does not include specific funding requirements or commitments, but rather serves as a broad blueprint for change.

In Australia, one in five women have experienced sexual assault, while one-third of women have endured physical violence. One woman is killed by a partner on average once every 10 days, making intimate partner violence the leading preventable cause of disease and death in women between the ages of 18 and 44. According to the report, violence against women and children costs the economy $26 billion annually.

In Australia, a woman is killed by an intimate partner every ten days on average, and one in three women had been physically abused since the age of 15.

Two-thirds of the women who experienced violence said the violence started or intensified after the Covid pandemic, indicating that the offending increased as a result of the epidemic.

‚ÄúToo many of us are being re-traumatised trying to engage with systems that are meant to ‚Äėprotect‚Äô us but fail,‚ÄĚ a statement from members of the Independent Collective of Survivors said, which was included in the report. ‚ÄúSystems that create barriers to access and have costs beyond our means because services are not designed for the realities of our lives.

‚ÄúSystems that wait until the worst has happened before they respond, then blame us for not reporting or leaving.‚ÄĚ

The national plan consists of two distinct five-year action plans, with a separate action plan for First Nations women to be created. It identifies a number of areas that need to be improved at the state and federal levels, with particular attention paid to expanding housing options and involving men and boys in preventive measures.

The plan urges people, especially males, to better fight sexism and harassment as bystanders and calls for better support for men and boys to establish healthy masculinities and strong connections with peers. It also calls for addressing homophobic or transphobic attitudes.

Additionally, there are recommendations for increased financing for perpetrator treatments and programmes that change men’s behaviour, particularly those that address the “underlying trauma of participants” in those programmes. Other suggestions include addressing societal attitudes that justify or minimise violence as well as attitudes that put the onus on victims to stop or flee the violence.

In addition, the strategy asks for expanding the supply of housing, better assisting those with limited reading or language skills in navigating the rental market, and improving housing support for those fleeing violence.

Recommendations for legal and policing changes include reducing the number of times a victim-survivor must speak about their experience, developing LGBTQ+-specific violence response services, improving police, attorneys, and judges’ knowledge of family violence, and fostering greater uniformity in state laws, justice responses, and support.

In the short term, the government should provide paid domestic abuse leave and offer cheaper daycare and public transportation to parents who are escaping violence. Gender disparity has been highlighted as a major contributor to violence.

The phone number for Australia’s Lifeline crisis hotline is 13 11 14. Call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732 or go to www.1800RESPECT.org.au if you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault, family violence, or domestic abuse. For international helplines, visit www.befrienders.org. In an emergency, dial 000.

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