Services brace for rise in family violence
Women’s safety advocates are calling for stronger government action to stop family violence as support lines brace for an influx of calls.
The nation’s ministers for women are meeting on Monday to discuss implementing Australia’s fourth action plan to reduce violence against women and children.
The five priority areas include aiming for primary prevention and better support for Indigenous women and children.
Women’s Safety NSW says this year has been the worst for domestic violence because of coronavirus lockdowns and the associated economic downturn.
Support services are preparing for another rise in calls as school holidays start ahead of the Christmas period.
“Conditions are likely to exacerbate over the summer break with families spending more time together in an environment of financial stress and alcohol misuse,” Women’s Safety NSW chief Hayley Foster says.
“Our governments need to send a clear message to the Australian community that violence against women will not be tolerated; that victim-survivors will be supported, and abusers held to account.”
Advocates won’t know the result of Monday’s meeting until later in the week, with the statement of outcomes not slated for immediate release.
Ms Foster was left dismayed after the ministers’ last meeting in August, because no new measures were announced.
“This year has been a terrible one for many Australians economically, with huge job losses and business closures, but women have borne the brunt of this crisis losing the majority of jobs and hours and shouldering the lion’s share of increased caring responsibilities,” she said.
“What this means in practical terms for women experiencing domestic and family violence is that they have fewer resources available to escape the violence.”
To read the full article by Rebecca Gredley in Mandurah Mail click HERE.