The Greens argue that the nation is in the middle of a domestic violence crisis and that Australia’s safety net is broken. As proof of the growing demand for support services, they cite the fact that Victoria Police now respond to 70,000 domestic violence incidents a year, a 70 per cent increase in five years. The Greens propose a 10-year $5 billion investment in frontline services.
A new national partnership agreement to provide specialist services such as crisis phones, counselling and perpetrator interventions.
Investing in violence prevention initiatives across all parts of society – communities, schools, workplaces, businesses, sport and recreation settings.
Funding community and workplace-based initiatives to prevent violence and foster respectful and equal relationships between men and women.
Funding specialised services to support men and boys who are at risk or have a history of violent behaviour in family situations to acknowledge and change behaviour
Restoring funding and increasing it to women-only specialist services, refuges and shelters and increasing funding to these services in rural/regional areas.
Fund a national peak body for specialist domestic violence services with $8 million over four years.
Spend $100 million over two years on building crisis accommodation such as shelters and long-term affordable housing
The Greens are also concerned about the shortage of legal assistance for women and have committed to a $200 million per year increase in funding for legal services including Legal Aid. They will support state and territory governments to roll out specialist domestic violence courts with $5 million over two years.
They also top Labor’s policy on workplace support by proposing 10 days of paid domestic violence leave as a right for every worker.
Labor supports the decision of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to hold a national family violence summit later this year, but calls for more to be done now. It has announced a $70 million package of interim measures to assist the one in three women who have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
Invest $42.9 million in frontline legal services so that no victim goes alone to court to request protection for herself and her children.
Strengthen the way the legal system deals with family violence.
Provide $15 million in grants to community organisations and local government to help people stay safe in their homes and communities, which could be used for lock upgrades, sensor and security lighting, security screen doors, CCTV cameras, alarm systems etc.
Create greater certainty of access to homeless services.
Invest $8.4 million in greater perpetrator accountability devices.
Provide five days paid domestic and family violence leave for workers.
Educate individuals to ensure better responses to family violence.
Labor’s policy focuses primarily on improving legal support for women and children affected by family violence. Community legal centres will be better funded, with extra resources to allow them to meet the diverse needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees, people with disability and other groups.
Women will also be supported to feel safer at home, with investment in security systems for their houses and tracking devices for family violence perpetrators.
The most controversial proposal is the provision of five days paid domestic and family violence leave. Labor argues women need this time to meet with lawyers, financial advisers and schools and that it will be a boon for business through improved productivity, increased employee retention and reduced absenteeism. The Greens propose 10 days family violence leave.
The Liberal policy particularly focuses on ensuring laws are enforced and providing services to protect victims and potential victims. The Liberals want to send a clear message that family-related violence will not be tolerated and all cases will be treated as severe.
A $100 million package of measures to provide a safety net for women and children at risk of experiencing family violence.
Invest $30 million in frontline legal assistance providers.
Provide $21 million in more support for Indigenous women and communities.
Use $12 million to trial GPS trackers for perpetrators.
Invest $5 million for safe phones and a resource package to ensure online safety.
Spend $17 million to make homes safer with CCTV cameras and other security equipment.
With more than 63 women killed in family violence so far this year, the Liberals say prevention of family violence is a top priority. Indigenous women are earmarked for more support as they are 34 more times likely to be hospitalized as a result of family violence.
The Federal Government recently announced a $100 million safety net package for women and children at high risk of experiencing family violence. The government included $21 million to specifically assist Indigenous women and communities.