A record $328 million strategy will be funded by the Morrison government to combat domestic violence.
A record $328 million strategy will be funded by the Morrison government to combat domestic violence.

$328m plan to end domestic violence

SCHOOL kids will be taught how not to become perpetrators or victims of domestic violence and family courts will tip off agencies to help women at risk, under a multimillion-dollar attack on the scourge.

The Morrison Government will today unveil the biggest yet financial contribution to beat domestic violence - a $328 million package that focuses on prevention, identification, rescue and recovery.

With eight women hospitalised every day due to domestic violence, Scott Morrison will today declare enough is enough and help give women the courage and resources to leave their dangerous lives.

The announcement and theme of "keeping families safe" is a pillar of Mr Morrison's prime ministership, with a focus on trying to ensure that children born today grow up escaping the insidious crime.

Under the Fourth Action Plan, new emergency accommodation will be built, schools will be targeted to teach kids about healthy relationships and specialised family violence services will be delivered.

 

A university module will also be developed to enable health workers to recognise and respond to domestic violence, and almost $11 million will be spent to ensure the family court system shares information with child protection and other agencies to respond to women at risk.

The pre-Budget announcement includes $82 million to improve frontline services, $78 million to build or expand safe places, $68 million for prevention strategies, $64 million for a help line and $35 million specifically for indigenous Australians.

Included in the record-funding is almost $3 million for Respect Matters resources to be delivered in schools by ambassadors.

It aims to teach kids how to have positive and healthy relationships, but is focused on stopping perpetrators and victims at a young age.

Almost $17 million will be spent on an education awareness campaign for adults that will reinforce the message that domestic violence is a crime, and unacceptable.

And in a significant shift in attitudes within the legal system, which often works in silos, police will represent the Commonwealth in the Family Court to ensure those at risk of domestic violence are identified and given the help they need sooner.

It will doubledown, with a move to strengthen information sharing between the family law system and child protection and other agencies.

Under the wide-ranging package, $7.5 million Recognise, Respond, Refer program will be trialled in five primary health network regions to develop better pathways for victims to get help.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he will develop Australia’s first national prevention strategy to stop domestic and sexual violence. Picture: Adam Yip
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he will develop Australia’s first national prevention strategy to stop domestic and sexual violence. Picture: Adam Yip

 

And when women do have the courage and means to escape, they will be siphoned into new emergency accommodation. There will also be a further $18 million to continue a safety program that allows women to stay in their own home if that is their preference.

However, the "game-changer" is Australia's first prevention hub, which will strategically co-ordinate with experts to identify a way to stop domestic violence and measure and report on the crime.

Queensland was left reeling after a spate of horrific domestic violence attacks against women in 2015 and launched the #StandupQld campaign.

However, the scars of previous victims and continued attacks continued to rock the state.

Townsville and Mt Isa are Queensland's domestic violence hot spots.

 

The latest Queensland police statistics reveal there were 26,343 breaches of domestic violence orders in 2017-18.

Mr Morrison said his Government's first priority was to keep Australians safe.

 

Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer said all women and children have the right to feel safe. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images
Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer said all women and children have the right to feel safe. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

 

"To hear the accounts of survivors and see the statistics, it's just not good enough,'' Mr Morrison said.

"To stop violence against women, we need to counter the culture of disrespect towards women.

"A culture of disrespect towards women is a precursor to violence, and anyone who doesn't see that is kidding themselves."

He said a heavy investment in prevention was needed so it could stop violence before it began.

"This is about changing attitudes to violence, and helping those who think violence is an option, to stop.

"We will also develop Australia's first national prevention strategy to stop domestic and family violence and sexual assault, and continue our work to change the attitudes and beliefs that can lead to violence."

Families Minister Paul Fletcher said the package also focused on those more likely to face domestic violence - indigenous Australians and those with a disability.

"We will act against the different forms abuse can take, including preventing financial abuse and technology-facilitated abuse, and we have included specific measures targeted to address the risks faced by women with intellectual disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women," Mr Fletcher said.



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