On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women the Greens are once again calling for full funding and meaningful goals for the National Plan for Ending Violence Against Women and Children, and a standalone National Plan for First Nations Women.
Today also marks the start of the UN 16 Days of Activism, running until International Human Rights Day on 10 December. During this time, Senator Waters will dedicate her social media platforms to discussions about the National Plan, sharing stories from advocacy groups and frontline services, and explaining what we need to do to make sure no one seeking help is turned away.
Lines attributable to Senator Larissa Waters, Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson on Women
“Australia is in an epidemic of gendered violence and harassment. 40 women have been killed this year. Women as young as 12 report sexual harassment in public. One in three Australian women experience abuse in their lifetime.
“First Nations women, women from culturally diverse backgrounds, women in regional areas, older women, LGBTIQ+ women, and women with a disability are even more likely to experience violence.
“Every year on this day we recommit to ending sexual and physical violence against women around the world, but frontline services are still underfunded and women and children are being turned away as a result.
“Enough with empty promises. Enough with ignoring the impact of financial insecurity and housing stress on women’s capacity to leave. Enough with underfunding the services women reach out to in a crisis.
“We need full funding for services under the National Plan for Ending Violence Against Women and Children, and a standalone National Plan for First Nations Women.
“The women’s safety sector has repeatedly called for a $1 billion per year investment to meet demand. The recent Budget provided less than half that amount for frontline services.
“Women deserve better than that, and $1 billion each year is a very small price to pay to ensure every Australian woman is safe at work, at home and in public.
“Additional funding for emergency housing is welcome, but when the waiting list for social housing is over 50,000 in Queensland alone, $100 million for 720 houses is a drop in the ocean.
“The housing crisis is felt even more acutely by women and children experiencing family and domestic violence. Women are forced to choose between abuse or homelessness, because there is nowhere to go.
“Women on low wages or income support are especially vulnerable without the resources to escape violent situations. Yet this government persists with the cruelty of keeping income support payments like JobSeeker below the poverty line, and has the audacity to cry poor while dishing out hundreds of billions in tax cuts and investment property perks for the rich.
“The Greens are calling for full funding of frontline DV services, along with clear outcomes, targets and support for specialist services to address the needs of vulnerable communities. Ending violence against women in one generation is possible, but not without more dollars and clear targets to drive the necessary changes.