Violence against Women: The first step has been taken

8 May, 2024

On Sunday, April 28, protests took place across Australia in response to the wave of violence against women that has intensified in recent months.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese participated in the Canberra demonstration, while Premier Jacinta Allan attended the one in Melbourne.

Demonstrators demanded a state of emergency to be declared due to gender-based violence and stricter laws to contain it.

On average in Australia, a woman is killed by her partner every four days, while one in three women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.

The Prime Minister convened a meeting of the National Cabinet with state and territory leaders last Wednesday amid escalating violence against women.

Mr. Albanese announced that his government would invest $925 million over five years, starting from July 1, 2025, to permanently establish a one-off payment of $5,000 for “violence exits” to financially assist victims in leaving violent and dangerous situations.

Activists against gender-based violence reacted angrily to the decisions of the National Cabinet, outraged by the lack of funding for frontline services.

It should also be noted that a further increase in domestic violence is very likely as pressures on the cost of living rise, or at least do not decrease.

If these ominous predictions come true, the lack of support for frontline services will prove fatal.

While many acknowledge that some steps have been taken in the right direction, many fear that these measures will simply increase demand in services in an already strained sector.They argue that instead, significant funding should be allocated to frontline services.

Independent MP Zoe Daniel stated, “By the time the National Council reconvenes in about 90 days, 12,000 women will have been rejected from the program and at a rate of one woman every 4 days, another 22 women may be dead.”

Domestic violence activist Rosie Batty expressed satisfaction with the extension of coverage time with emergency financial support, but also expressed concerns about the obstacles faced by applicants regarding the beneficiary selection process and their access to the program.

The truth is that it took the tragic deaths of dozens of women in a very short period of time to initiate a discussion about addressing this enormous problem.

While solutions won’t magically appear, the truth is that the issue has received the attention it deserves, at least for a few days. The government has taken a first step that many feel is not enough. However, it is a start. It just needs to be exactly that, a start.


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