A new poll released today by community campaigning group Fair Agenda shows that most Australians consider family violence to be as much or more of a threat than terrorism.
Renee Carr, Executive Director of Fair Agenda says the poll highlights the discrepancy between the scale of the family violence epidemic and government action – particularly in funding family violence services
“We’re in the midst of a family violence epidemic, yet inadequate government funding means thousands of women are still being turned away from the services that should be helping keep them safe,” said Renee Carr, Executive Director of Fair Agenda.
The national poll of over 1,000 conducted in June by Essential Research, shows 74% of Australians believe family violence is either more of a threat than terrorism or about the same. Only 18% of Australians believe it is less of a threat.
“When a woman tries to escape abuse, she is at great risk. It’s unbelievable that with a rising murder rate, and all the talk about addressing this issue, governments still aren’t fully funding frontline services to keep women safe,” says Ms Carr
Australian of the Year Rosie Batty agrees: “We’re spending hundreds of millions extra on the war on terrorism, but women who fear for their safety are still being turned away from services because of a lack of funds,” says Ms Batty.
“As a nation we need to re-assess our priorities. Women and children are dying because of family violence and we need to see a commensurate response.
“There is no shortage of goodwill from our leaders, but we need words put into action including increased funding of family violence services. Every day they wait, more lives are put at significant risk.
“We need to keep speaking out about this issue. That’s why I’m urging people to stand with me beside victims by signing up at www.neveralone.com.au”
Australians can join the campaign for full funding of family violence services by signing the petition at www.fairagenda.org
Q. The problem of family violence has been described as "family terrorism". Do you think family violence is more of a threat or less of a threat than terrorism to Australians?
Federal funding gap for response services, as identified in Fair Agenda’s ‘What it will take’ Report:
$33.8 million for specialist homelessness services, to address the turn away of 2,800 women fleeing domestic violence from crisis accommodation services annually.
$28 million needed for Family Violence Prevention Legal Service units to ensure specialist and culturally safe support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, who are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of family violence.
150,000 people a year are turned away from Community Legal Centres, where a third of the work is family violence related. The Productivity Commission has urged the federal government to urgently inject $120 million across the legal assistance sector.
$12.2 million for Indigenous parenting and family safety programs.