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Motion: Domestic Violence and Bsafe

Lee Rhiannon 10 May 2012

Motions, Thursday 10 May 2012

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (12:13): I move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that:

      (i)   25 November 2011 commemorates the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women -White Ribbon Day,

      (ii)   domestic violence occurs in every geographic area and in all socio-economic and cultural groups in Australia, in particular in regional and rural Australia and Indigenous communities,

      (iii)   the prevention and elimination of domestic violence is a goal of the Australian Government, and yet the Government has failed to fund the continuation of the pilot Bsafe program, which successfully operated in regional Victoria from 2007 to 2010, providing personal safety alarms to women and children at risk of domestic violence to prevent further violence and enable them to remain in their own homes and communities,

      (iv)   the cessation of the pilot Bsafe program, which was funded through a 3 year $340 000 federal grant that ended in December 2010, caused distress to the women and children and their families and friends who had come to rely on it,

      (v)   there is an extraordinary level of support for the Bsafe program from the beneficiaries, community workers, police, women's groups and the broader community across the country,

      (vi)   the Bsafe program won the national Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award in 2010,

      (vii)   the Bsafe program was extremely cost effective, costing approximately $1 000 for the two safety alarms, and provided enormous benefits in reducing the risk and breaking the cycle of domestic violence, giving assurance to vulnerable women and children and allowing them to return to participating fully in society, as detailed in the Bsafe program evaluation report,

      (viii)   in Victoria the community sector is ready and eager to expand this potentially life-saving resource to women across the state, and

      (ix)   one woman who was a recipient of a Bsafe alarm asked 'How much does my life cost'; and

   (b)   calls on the Government to:

      (i)   urgently fund the continuation of the successful pilot Bsafe program in regional Victoria to allow women and children continued access to the service, and

      (ii)   fund the extension of the Bsafe program to other regions in Victoria and into other states.

Question agreed to.

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