There's Been A Few Pretty Significant Domestic Violence Announcements During Week Six Of The Election Campaign

Here's what you need to know about them.

18/06/2016 10:14 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST
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Domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty sparked the conversation this week.

When Rosie Batty addressed the National Press Club on Wednesday, initially snubbing politicians to address men across the nation instead, it was bound to draw the attention of the major political parties regardless.

And it did. Both the Coalition, ALP and also state governments have made some important announcements addressing domestic violence during week six of the election campaign.

We'll get to those later, but first: Batty shared the stage in Canberra with Men's Behaviour Change counsellor Danny Blay moving the conversation forward to bring more men into the debate.

Batty said it was important to push funding into preventative responses to change the cultural problem right from the beginning, instead of focusing only on the victims.

"Men capable of psychological abuse and power and control and intimidation are potentially the most dangerous," Batty said, calling on the legal system to develop specialist services for victims of family violence.

"It's a much gentler conversation and we need to be challenging those standard forms of masculinity," Blay added, "it is a much trickier exercise to invite men into a space that challenges their own world view, challenges the culture they've grown up in and what defines them as a human being based on their gender".

You can read more about what they both had to say here, but many groups across the nation have responded to Blay's last point, with announcements from state to federal politicians and sporting codes around the nation.

National Sporting Codes

On Friday the NRL, Rugby Union, AFL and Netball Australia signed a leadership statement to address domestic violence with a systematic and preventative approach across their codes, which trickles down to respect and gender equality.

The codes joined forces with domestic violence prevention group Our Watch which was established under the 'National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children'. You can read all about the particularly excellent week women in sport have had here.

Federal Leadership

On Friday the Coalition announced $20 million in domestic violence funding would go to preventative strategies across the nation from local governments to sporting organisations. This is all based on advice from COAG's advisory panel on domestic violence.

A large chunk of this funding will go to Our Watch for their projects, but it is important to note this $20 million is part of the $100 million the Coalition allocated to tackling family violence in May's budget.

And this $100 million is in addition to the $100 million Women's Safety package announced by Malcolm Turnbull when he became Prime Minister in September.

The Labor party has also announced further funding on top of the $88 million Safe Housing package for women escaping family violence. On Saturday the ALP committed to delivering an annual report to Parliament if they are elected to govern on July 2.

More than $40 million over four years in additional funding has been allocated to provide legal representation for all parties going through the court system due to family violence. This will prevent victims being cross-examined in court, which is an issue Rosie Batty raised in her Press Club address.

Other commitments included more than $3 million directed to specialist pilot programs to address family violence in culturally diverse communities and creating a new type of temporary protection visa, with new work rights to help victims support themselves after escaping the violence.

The Labor Party also announced they would respond to Victoria's Royal Commission into Family Violence within a year.

State Leadership

The Victorian Government is really leading the way on tackling family violence, announcing $572 million in the state budget this year. This is more than both the major parties have pledged collectively.

But last Saturday the NSW Government committed $300 million to address family violence across the state, with $8 million going to men's behaviour change programs and millions pledged to awareness and prevention programs addressing not only female victims, but victims in the LGBTI community -- bringing men into the conversation on both sides of the problem.

This week the Greens called for more funding in New South Wales for women's refuges, but the state will have to wait for the state budget at the end of the month for answers.

All in all, it's been a better week for domestic violence campaigners -- gaining a little more funding to address a massive problem. Every bit helps.

But stay tuned for next week. Batty has invited leaders from each political party to accept a petition calling for funding to support her five-step plan created with Women's Legal Services to help victims of family violence -- and put children first. You can read all about it (and sign up) here.

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