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Greens launch domestic violence package in Sydney

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 3 Jun 2016

Last night in Newtown Greens candidate Sylvie Ellsmore was joined by Senator Larissa Waters, Senator Lee Rhiannon, Greens NSW MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi and Greens women candidates from Blaxland, Banks, Dobell, Warringah and Watson to launch the Greens package to end domestic violence. 

The Greens have made the biggest funding commitment of any party to address domestic violence. The Greens plan would: 

Create a new $5 billion National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women to specialist services such as crisis phone services, women's shelters, training for service providers, counselling, perpetrator interventions, and other specialist domestic violence services.

Roll out more effective perpetrator interventions including men's behaviour change programs and early intervention programs worth $128 million over 4 years.

Fund a national peak body for specialist domestic violence services with $8 million over 4 years.

Spend $100 million over 2 years on crisis accommodation.

Increase funding for legal assistance by at least $200 million per year.

Support State and Territory governments to roll out specialist domestic violence courts with $5 million over 2 years.

Make family law safe, with a $60 million package.

Build long-term affordable housing to clear the bottleneck in the system, including immediate construction of 14,500 affordable dwellings funded by changes to negative gearing.

Provide 10 days of paid domestic violence leave as a right for every worker.


Greens candidate for Sydney Sylvie Ellsmore said: 

“I am really proud to be running as a candidate for such a strong feminist party. 

“One in three women are affected by domestic violence - it is a crisis deserving crisis level attention and the package we are putting forward would be a huge start.

“As well as a shortage of crisis accommodation for women, the chronic lack of affordable housing in Sydney means that women suffering domestic violence often have nowhere to go. So our plans to reform negative gearing and the capital gains discount will help to raise the revenue that we need to ensure that women are not left in limbo.

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

‘We covered a lot last night because sadly there is so much to talk about when it comes to dealing with violence against women. In Australia we won equal pay for equal work in 1969 but the pay gap is still scandalously high. The rates of underpaid, undervalued and insecure work in Australia disproportionately affect women – and to tackle gender inequality and domestic violence we should also look at addressing these issues. 

‘The Greens are affordable childcare, working for workplaces to be family friendly, flexible working hours and access to public health care, housing and crisis services. Breaking down structural inequality is critical to reducing the causes of violence against women. 

Greens Senator and spokesperson for women Larissa Waters discussed the Greens plan to end domestic violence and criticised the Coalition’s changes to the 1800 RESPECT line, which were signed off shortly before the government entered caretaker mode. The changes would mean that calls may no longer be answered by experienced psychologists or social workers called trauma specialists, and would transfer responsibility for operating the service to Medibank Health Solutions. 

Today Senator Waters wrote to Minister Porter to call for his urgent intervention to ensure that calls to 1800 RESPECT are answered by fully trained trauma specialists. 

"Australia can fund domestic violence services so no woman is turned away, by raising revenue from those who can afford to pay their fair share, for example through reforming negative gearing, the capital gains discount and superannuation taxation.

"Why should women fleeing domestic violence go homeless, while the very wealthy get taxpayer-funded subsidies for their multiple investment homes?

“The old parties' election commitments on domestic violence funding are dangerously low, with the Coalition providing $200 million to domestic violence services and Labor announcing $135 million over four years.

"The consequences of getting the first response wrong can be terrible.  A negative experience can confirm everything their abuser has been telling them: that they’re powerless and that no one will listen. Victims who reach out for help must be supported by fully qualified specialists, not referred to a websites or forced to jump extra hurdles.”

“Australia must increase funding for all our front line services, including 1800 RESPECT and State-based crisis phone services, who are also struggling to meet demand.  

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