Published: 19 May 2017
Author: Ryan Carlisle Thomas
Family violence gets the attention it deserves
This month, some important funding announcements were made by the State and Federal Governments in an effort to tackle family violence.
The Victorian Government has allocated $1.9 billion in the 2017-18 budget to begin implementing the 227 recommendations by the Royal Commission into Family Violence and in the Final Report handed down last year.
Funding was allocated in the Victorian budget for more public housing, creating specialist family violence courts and addressing concerns about the way family violence is dealt with across the justice system. Legal Aid and community legal centres were also given a crucial boost of funding in both the Victorian and Federal budgets.
A one-stop-shop for responding to family violence – 17 safety and support hubs
Family violence is a multifaceted issue that can affect many aspects of life. We were pleased to hear that a large portion of the funding for this year’s budget will go towards building 17 safety and support hubs, which will provide a range of services to survivors of family violence such as counselling, access to police, child protection services and financial support.
Our family law team works hard to assist people who face legal issues surrounding family violence, but it can be difficult to link people up with all the disparate services they might need. Having one place to go to access the range of services required is a huge step forward in addressing the barriers to safety that currently exist for people experiencing family violence.
A major review of the Family Law Act
Alongside their 2017-18 budget announcement, we were also pleased to hear that the Federal Government has launched a major review of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (“the Act”) to address shortcomings in relation to how the Act deals with family violence.
Importantly, the review will visit concerns that the the Act does nothing to prevent domestic violence victims form being cross-examined by alleged perpetrators of domestic violence in family law proceedings.
Everyone has the right to live safely in the community. These announcements show an important commitment to ensuring this right is upheld for those in our community affected by family violence.
Fill out the family violence workforce census 2017
If you are in a workforce that deals with family violence and would like to contribute to the data gathered in relation to how services play a role in preventing, identifying and responding to family violence, you can fill out the 2017 Family Violence Workforce Census. The survey closes today, so get clicking!