October 19, 2012

Baillieu too slow to act on spike in domestic violence

The Baillieu Government’s Family Violence strategy is a welcome first step but it doesn’t go far enough, Member for Footscray Marsha Thomson said today.

Ms Thomson said the $7.9 million strategy was two years too late, in which time the number of reported incidents of family violence has risen sharply.

“While I welcome any additional support to tackle family violence, I question this government’s commitment to the issue,” Ms Thomson said.

“We have been waiting a long time for Mr Baillieu to outline a whole-of-government strategy to tackling violence in the home and his recent package with less $2 million of new money per year is simply not good enough.

“The previous government had a comprehensive $25 million strategy which Mr Baillieu let lapse as recently as June this year – so this replacement strategy is too little, too late.

“Police have reported a 41 percent spike in report incidents of family violence – by this measure each the government has allocated a paltry $40 for each situation each year.”

Ms Thomson said Mr Baillieu’s cuts to other areas of government meant at-risk women and their children were unable to get the support they need.

“The Baillieu Government outlined that the response to family violence should be integrated, coordinated and across the whole of government but this strategy fails its own test.”

“Mr Baillieu’s only whole of government approach has been to cut budgets, resulting in fewer opportunities for women to access skills and training, and less access to emergency, social and public housing,” Ms Thomson said.

“Under this Government the entire family violence team has disappeared among the 4200 jobs lost from the public service.

“The Baillieu Government is also responsible for the stalling of the Systemic Review of Family Violence, having refused to provide the coroner’s court a paltry $250,000 needed to continue this vital work.

“Already, women have been affected by $25 million cut from Women’s and Community health centres.

“These are the areas that should have been included in a whole-of-government approach to tackling family violence.”


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