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. leonetwo

    It is indeed. Was a complete non issue in NZ until they found out some had ended up being sent to Christmas Island.

  2. Right-wing nutter thinks he is above the law. Who does he think he is? A member of the Liberal Party?

    US anti-abortion campaigner Troy Newman boards plane for Australia despite visa ban

    A prominent US anti-abortion campaigner who was barred from entering Australia has flown to Melbourne regardless, and Federal Court action has been launched to overturn the revocation of his visa.
    Troy Newman, who wants doctors who perform abortions to be executed, is scheduled to speak on a national Right to Life tour from Friday

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/us-antiabortion-campaigner-troy-newman-barred-from-entering-australia-20150930-gjy6a5.html

    This person is now an illegal arrival. He should be sent to Manus Island. That’s what we do with brown people who arrive without visas.

  3. ” This person is now an illegal arrival. He should be sent to Manus Island. ” …and if his trip was sponsored by “people smugglers” in Aust’, they too should be prosecuted and deported to their “second choice” nations as criminals!

  4. Thank goodness we now have a 20th Century government eh.

    Scientist who likened wind industry to Hitler shapes as potential Turnbull government adviser

    The government will also soon announce who will fill the role of national wind farm commissioner to investigate complaints about wind turbines, despite refusing to appoint a full-time disability commissioner.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scientist-who-likened-wind-industry-to-hitler-shapes-as-potential-turnbull-government-adviser-20150930-gjyijg.html

  5. Oops – “21st Century government” then again I suppose the “error” is closer to the mark.

  6. Coming soon to the Turnbull government.

    Adviser on witchcraft, hexing and evil eyes.
    Working party to look at upgrading our legal and justice system to include modern improvements like trial by dunking and trial by ordeal.
    A Medicare review panel to consider new additions to the MBS, including cutting edge treatments like blood letting and cure by the performance of miracles.

  7. Fiona

    I’m sure he would think whatever his “clients” pay him to think. A bigger worry is he may be a distant ‘cuzzie bro’ . Oh the shame 😦

  8. Senator Leyonhjelm said Dr Rapley was a suitable candidate for the committee because as a New Zealander he “has been out of the Australian environment”.

    OK, interesting reasoning there.

    We can now look forward to recommendations for street sweepers to to advise the government on the new higher education policy because they have been ‘out of the education environment’.

    We can look forward to experts in spinning navel fluff being appointed to the PBS committee because they have been ‘out of the pharmaceutical environment’.

    And so it goes on.

  9. puffytmd

    True but if he is a rellie then he could at least be a better class of ‘black sheep’ say a bank robber or drug smuggler 🙂

  10. Sad I know but when I saw this pic of Putin in an article about him bombing ISIS I couldn’t help but 😆 at the thought it provoked. Imagining it was Putin greeting the newly appointed Australian ambassador to Russia. One Anthony ‘Shirt Front” Abbott.

  11. It,s 1.00am in vegas. Didn’t plan to be here but it is the best place to do grand canyon trips from. Saw a show spent some cash . Haven’t made it further east than Utah so west coast will be next time. After here flying to San Diego, driving to LA. fly back to Hawaii then home . Hope every one is well and living in the Idiot free Australia. Cya all soon.

  12. joe6pack

    Hope you are having a ball. An amazing quiet post idiot but it is still on with the same shit with a better dressed salesman.

    A non Elvis Viva Los Vegas

  13. That should say east coast will be next time.
    Thanks for the song jaycee. heard a few tonight. OH passed out but I,m looking out at the view. Would love to be the bloke who has the contract to change the bulbs

  14. My poor old aunty had a favourite pooch that was a hairless something or other….she loved it…But one day it got out and a local farmer shot it dead, thinking it was a mangey dog…broke her heart…

  15. Malcolm Mothball’s ‘high-powered’ economic summit on tax reform was pretty much a non-event,. but from the gushing in this article you might think it was the Second Coming of Saint Malcolm.

    Talk about sucking up.

    Unions and employers hail inclusive Malcolm Turnbull as national mood lifts
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/unions-and-employers-hail-inclusive-malcolm-turnbull-as-national-mood-lifts-20151001-gjz7pa.html

    I don’t think I can take much more of this MSM grovelling at the feet of the Earl of Wentworth. There is going to be a dire shortage of buckets if it keeps going much longer. As for ‘reforms’ – I’ll believe it when I see the rich paying their fair share of tax.

  16. L2

    “Unions and employers hail inclusive Malcolm Turnbull as national mood lifts”

    Soviet era Pravda would be proud of such a headline.

  17. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/prosecutors-to-drop-charges-against-cfmeu-official-and-former-nrl-star-john-lomax-20151001-gjz3bh.html

    http://sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/workplace/2015/07/31/unprecedented-blackmail-charge-relates-to-site-rates-claim/

  18. It is instructive to compare and contrast the conduct of Mr Lomax’s doing his job on behalf of the members of the CMFEU, and Mr Withers’s head office taking “the lion’s share of every store’s profits”.

  19. A “mere” 40+ years ago I was watching Clarke as Fred Dagg. He was mega in Sheepens land before crossing the Tasman. May look like a piss take of farmers but we loved it .

  20. Kaffeeklatscher,

    John Clarke is a true artist, with his ability to morph into any character. I must confess, by the way, that I prefer him in his older manifestations . . .

  21. Fiona

    He was also fairly political back in in the day. I still remember an LP he put out 1975ish . Apart from a crack at Idi Amin he took a nice swipe at Apartheid Seth Efrica. The skit was about the townships and interviewed a Saffa government rep. The official when asked about the barbed wire fences surrounding them said it was for their own protection because ( The line that sticks in my mind) “Who knows when a lion will escape from the Kruger national park 500 miles away and do untold damage……and believe me it will be untold.”

  22. I don’t know if I’m stealing BK’s thunder, but this both shocks -and doesn’t shock – me:

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/workplace-relations/worker-exploitation-destroys-the-economy-20151001-gjz2sn.html

    I want to know the names of every middle to large Australian employer, and every multinational employer, who is engaged in this appalling activity – whether it’s restricted to foreign students or not.

    I want those exploiters to be named and shamed.

    I want to be able to use my small market power to boycott them.

    Yes, I do realise that a boycott will hurt the employees even more, but maybe a boycott could include start-ups of ethical businesses. There are a good few of them around already; I would love to see even more of them in existence, and thriving.

    I live in hope. After all, yesterday I had a wonderful person who works with refugees take one and a half car’s full of good – but not op shop “salable” – household equipment to furnish and replenish a refugee house.

  23. BK,

    You probably won’t see this until somewhat later, but my very best wishes for your surgery.

    I am sure you will shock your quacks with the speed of your recovery 🙂

  24. Kaffeeklatscher,

    Mr Clarke was political from the get go, and to be appreciated all the more for his deep humanity.

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