Three major political parties have advised that they will commit to extra funding of these services for women.
The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) have announced that the three major Australian political parties – the Coalition, Australian Labor Party and the Greens – have advised that they will commit to extra funding for women’s refuges and other front-line emergency support services for women and their children escaping domestic violence.
The announcement comes after WEL wrote to each of the party leaders and asked for a commitment of $1 billion over five years to the Women and Children’s Safety Program (WCSP).
Although WEL is disappointed that none of the parties specifically endorsed WCSP, they welcome the acknowledgement made by members of the parties.
The ALP highlighted Labor’s new Safe Housing For Women Program stating that it “will increase the number of refuges specifically available to women and children fleeing domestic violence and will provide funding for support services that help women to stay safe in their own homes, as well as support specialist women’s services.”
While the ALP noted the new program, Tony Nutt, The Turnbull Coalition Team National Campaign Director, stated that the Coalition will make further statements highlighting the specific funding for domestic violence initiatives.
Senator Larissa Walters, Australian Greens Senator for Queensland and Spokesperson for Women, said, “The Greens have committed to new 10-year $5 billion National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women” and explained that services being funded would include crisis phone services, women’s shelters, training service providers, and counselling.
Although WEL is pleased that the two major parties have made domestic violence a key issue during the federal election, it noted that adequate funds are needed to keep women and children safe and urged the two major parties to understand this.
The contribution to WCSP from the Commonwealth would be $200 million a year, which equates to just 2 cents a day. To highlight this, WEL has launched #my2centsworth campaign, asking people to urge political leaders to spend the 2 cents a day needed to fund refuges and other frontline services.
WEL has yet to hear from the Nick Xenophon Team on the proposal.