Family and domestic violence services must have funding certainty

Organisations delivering services to victims of family and domestic violence (FDV) must be guaranteed long-term funding, Greens spokesperson for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Hon Alison Xamon MLC has said.

Speaking in Parliament ahead of the 28th Annual Silent Domestic Violence Memorial March, Ms Xamon said FDV was a complex issue with many causes and sustainable funding was crucial to preventing it.

“It’s simply not okay for Governments to fund important programs and then stop, as was the case recently with the successful Keeping Women Safe in the Home initiative,” Ms Xamon said.

“While I appreciate the State Government has stepped in with temporary support for the program, it needs sustainable Commonwealth funding.”

Ms Xamon said the most recent Family Law Pathways Network list of waiting periods showed waits of up to 13 weeks for family dispute resolution services and parenting order programs.

She said it was unacceptable that people had to wait so long during the current FDV crisis.

“This year in Western Australia, 28 people have been killed as a result of FDV, compared to 12 people last year,” Ms Xamon said.

“One in four women across the country have experienced physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

“FDV is the single largest driver of homelessness for women, a common factor in child protection cases and results in a police call out every two minutes across the country.

“We simply cannot have people waiting weeks on end for essential services.”

Ms Xamon said it was crucial there be more investment in family law services and training for police and other workers, particularly in how to respond to FDV in Aboriginal, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

She encouraged people to attend the 28th Annual silent Domestic Violence Memorial march through the Perth CBD tomorrow, which begins at Supreme Court Gardens at midday.

“We march to publically recognise the tragedy of the current reality and for a future where our daughters no longer have to march,” Ms Xamon said.