Give Us Shelter: Why New Domestic Violence Funding Isn’t Anywhere Enough

In this post, published at No Place for Sheep earlier today, Dr Jennifer Wilson makes a scathing attack on pm turnbull’s “new” money to combat the scourge of domestic violence. Thank you, Jennifer.

The Turnbull government’s announcement last week of $100 million worth of funding to address domestic violence is better than than silence, and goes to some small way towards acknowledging the enormous problem this country has with male violence against women.

But what it does not do, and for this appalling omission the government should be unrelentingly and loudly pilloried, is fund the urgent immediate need for frontline services such as refuges and community legal centres, both of which are a woman’s first stop when she’s forced to flee a dangerous domestic situation.

What this says to me is that safe, secure, un-threatened people such as politicians have absolutely no idea what it is like to be in a situation of such extreme danger that you have to flee, or risk injury or death to yourself and your children by staying.

And flee to where, exactly?

Not only do these fortunate politicians have no idea what this situation feels like, they apparently don’t care. Neither do have they the imagination to picture such a scene, and how they might feel in it.

Legal services are outraged at Minister for Women Michaelia Cash’s apparent spin on funding cuts that will directly affect women suffering domestic violence, and will see the centres in dire financial straits by 2017.

If politicians had the capacity to imagine themselves in such a situation, they would perhaps begin to understand that providing refuges for women and children must be the first priority in any plan to end family violence, in conjunction with some of the other options funding currently covers.

As I write this and as you read it, there will be women, alone or with their children, trying to get out of a house which is not a safe environment for them because it’s inhabited by a violent male intent on doing them harm. They need somewhere to go. Right now.

This ought not to be a difficult situation for a government to remedy. Providing funding for women’s refuges and legal centres is not going to break the budget. Yet, after decades of feminist activism we are going backwards: closing refuges, threatening the funding of community legal centres, handing over the refuges that remain to religious organisations who have little or no experience with the repercussions of domestic violence, and whose workers are primarily trained to deal with homelessness, not specifically with traumatised women and children fleeing abuse.

Solutions to domestic violence can’t be a one size fits all. Some women will be able to stay in their homes. Others will absolutely not. The period when a woman attempts to leave an abusive situation is well-recognised as the most dangerous for her, and for children involved. It is when she is most likely to be murdered, or severely injured, as the perpetrator’s rage escalates at the prospect of abandonment, and loss of control over his partner. Nothing will help in such situations if first-off, the woman has nowhere to go.

This is not complicated. Why will politicians not act to save women’s lives in the most pressing, the most obvious way, by adequately funding and staffing refuges and legal centres for the increasing numbers of women and children who have to get out, and have no place to which they can flee?

448 thoughts on “Give Us Shelter: Why New Domestic Violence Funding Isn’t Anywhere Enough

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    It’s doubtful you’d find any unionists in this disgraceful racket. Royal Commission now!
    Lenore Taylor on the sniping from the “non-sniper”. And just look a the photo!
    Michelle Grattan writes on Abbott’s post coup stress.
    Labor is up in arms over Mesma’s current squeeze being on the floor of the UN.
    The stock market carnage has put Turnbull and Morrison under pressure as their mini-summit looms.
    Looks like there is now a new type of “rendition” – the “disappearing of thousands of visa applications for skilled migrants.
    Why it’s so much worse than it looks for VW.
    This guy from the Grattan Institute says that Australia is well off the mark with its current emissions target.–is-it-enough-20150929-gjx94s.html
    Dave Donovan with a delightful parody of Andrew Bolt.,8206
    Public service managers are struggling to cope as the APS goes through a massive change.

  2. Section 3 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Ron Tandberg reckons things might have gone a bit far with Freo’s Fyfe playing on with a broken leg.

    Alan Moir previews VW’s trajectory.

    Matt Golding has Turnbull ringing the changes.

    David Pope goes again to a musical metaphor.

    Simon Letch is suggesting that Morrison has a believability problem.

    John Spooner touches on the scandalous phoenix company phenomenon.

    Mark Knight and Mesma’s wardrobe choice problem.
    David Rowe on squirrel grip diplomacy.

    And just for fun!

  3. You can imagine what would have happened if Julia Gillard had Tim Mathieson beside her in the UN General Assembly. We would still be hearing the howls of outrage.

    Tim did go to the UN with Julia, in an official capacity as her partner, but he did not pretend to be a delegate. Instead he made history by being the first male in UN history to attend the ‘first spouses’ tea.

  4. Julie Bishop wants Australia to get back on the UN Security Council.

    Australia to bid for seat on United Nations Security Council, Julie Bishop says

    We remember how she hurled abuse at Kevin Rudd for wanting that seat. We remember how she and Abbott ranted about the expense, forgetting that Howard had chased that seat during his term as PM but had failed in his bid. And we remember how Bananas preened and pranced when she was the one who got to be there to take that seat, not Krudd or a Labor foreign minister.

    It would be a supreme irony if Australia managed to win that temporary seat and a Labor foreign minister was the one to use it. I doubt we will get it. The Abbott government caused so much damage to our international reputation that the UN would probably rather give that seat to some third world dictatorship than to us.

  5. leone

    Even without him falling asleep, Julia would have been “hearing the howls of outrage.” Tim, unlike B’s boyfriend, would have listened respectfully to Julia’s speech. imo

  6. Apologies everyone, I have to post these links here so that I can read them on Razz’ computer. Waiting for our computer doctor to come and sort out why I can’t read any links from theage, smh or canberra times. I promise I’ll try not to overdo it.

  7. Leone

    After they cut our Aid Funding to all the countries whose vote we would count on to get a seat on the UN, doubt there is any way we would be successful.

  8. If Bananas wants another crack at the UNSC then we might see a sudden – and cynical – increase in foreign aid funding. How hilarious if that happens, after Bananas accused Krudd of buying the seat with lots of funding.

    It seems Bananas has developed quite a taste for the UN – or maybe it’s the shopping in New York that attracts her.

    She also wants Australia to go for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term.

    That might work. If the UN sees nothing wrong with making Saudi Arabia head of that council then they will take anyone who puts their hand up.

  9. A CanDo legacy

    The commissioner of an inquiry into the closure of a youth mental health facility in Brisbane says her investigation will be different to the coronial inquest and look at “broader systemic issues”.

    The first public hearing was held today at the inquiry into the closure of an adolescent mental health unit in Brisbane.

    The previous Newman government closed the Barrett Adolescent Centre in January 2014.

    Three teenagers died within eight months after the centre shut down. Their families were in court today.

  10. An RC into detention centres will make for some pretty grim ‘viewing’ .By Dog there better be one so as to discover what happened behind the “on water” veil and Scrott, Abbott and Duddon cop what they deserve.

    There would be one humorous part of such an RC. Watching each of them being cross examined. All three strike me as being utterly unsuited to the that sort of cut and thrust.

  11. Ms Bishop defended her decision and said her partner’s attendance was entirely within her discretion as Foreign Minister. She added that he regularly invites “friends and constituents” onto the floor of the General Assembly.

    Maybe so but it is just another manifestation of her lack of judgement.

  12. How hundreds of Muslim migrants are converting to Christianity to boost their chances of winning asylum in Germany
    Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers are taking three-month crash courses
    Converting allows them to claim they would face persecution if sent home
    Germany is expecting around 800,000 migrants this year – a 300% increase

  13. How many times has Bananas bothered to turn up at the GA? Can we have a list of all those she has ‘invited’ on these rare vists? I suspect both lists would be very, very short.

    I smell a very large rat here.

    The UN is closed to the public right now, due to the General Debate being in progress until next week.
    I suppose that means no guests,family, lovers, friends, constituents or other hangers-on that Ms Bishop might want to take along, people who would normally sit in whatever visitors area the UN provides. What to do with the boyfriend then, while she is busy on official business? Obviously she doesn’t trust him to wander around New York on his own, so he has to go to work with her. That means he needs official delegate status which will allow him in and allow her to keep him on a short chain.

    Lies have been told here, to us, to the UN and to their security staff. All so Bananas can keep an eye on her man.

  14. Ms Bishop defended her decision and said her partner’s attendance was entirely within her discretion as Foreign Minister. She added that he regularly invites “friends and constituents” onto the floor of the General Assembly.

    Surely she’s just saying that it was ok to do it because she decided it was? That’s not really a defence, that’s an invitation to question her judgement.

  15. Michaelia Cash says people could get more weekend work if there were no penalty rates.

    What she really means is company owners could buy more private jets if there were no penalty rates.

    7-Eleven boss Russ Withers buys new private jet

    We can’t tell you what Russ paid for his new wings, but the model changes hands on the open market at about $10 million these days. Which is a lot of Sundays (with or without penalty rates) selling Slurpees.

    By the way, Withers’ sister Beverley Barlow paid $20 million for her mansion in Brighton in May. And Withers is reportedly renovating his rural pile in the Yarra Valley

  16. Oops! She did it again.

    Now that politicians entitlements claims for the January/June period this year are being gone over new evidence of Broomhilda’s extravagance has come to light. The old bat chartered an aircraft to fly up here to Port Macquarie back in March.

    i knew she visited, I suspected she probably chartered a plane. We have an airport and lots of daily flights to and from Sydney, but using them would have meant Broomhilda would have had to mix with (oh yuck) ordinary people.

    Bronwyn Bishop’s chartered flight to Port Macquarie questioned

  17. Terri Butler on the job

    Butler wrote to the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, on Monday arguing that the campaigner could “cause significant harm to our community” because he had previously called for the execution of abortion doctors.

    On Wednesday Dutton said the government was taking action. “I can confirm that my department has cancelled the visa for Mr Troy Newman under Section 128 of the Migration Act,” the minister said.

  18. Finally…screwed the ridge-cap down to finish the barn roof…a bit of tidying up arpound the walls and it is all go…but getting a tad warm this will have to get some shade cloth up…

    We are going to make a few wicking beds this weekend.

  19. Anyone else experience a Michael Jackson moment seeing Julie Bishop’s ensemble at the UN? For contrast look at what the audience is wearing

  20. Now there’s a trio that would have the NE looking for somewhere to hide

    Julia Gillard with Charlize Theron and Michelle Obama.

Comments are closed.