In February 2014, in one of our small communities just outside Melbourne, an 11 year old boy died at the hands of his father. Since then, we have had to come to terms with the reality that we have a horrendous problem in Victoria: family violence (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-13/mother-in-shock-after-son-killed-by-father-at-cricket-oval/5258252).
Luke Batty’s mum Rosie now campaigns to prevent more deaths, and was named ‘Victorian of the Year’ (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/rosie-batty-named-victorian-of-the-year-recognition-for-a-mother-who-gives-victims-a-voice-20141028-11da4m.html) and ‘Australian of the Year’ in 2015.
Her determination, through her grief, to make the issue public has lead to the ‘No More Deaths’ campaign by an alliance of community legal, women’s services, and family violence services. This has meant that that it has been a community-lead conversation about how we, collectively, respond to this, very serious issue facing our community. The starting point for this has been that violence can be prevented, and promoting respect.
The No More Deaths election platform:
- Keep women and children safe and housed.
- Make the justice system safe and supportive.
- Hold violent perpetrators to account.
- Break down the service silos that endanger women and children.
- Prevent violence against women and children.
In August 2014 the No More Deaths campaign released ’25 Key Asks’: a comprehensive reform plan (http://womenslegal.org.au/files/file/NoMoreDeaths_Campaign_Key_Asks.pdf).
On on Friday (21 November, 2014) they released the Family Violence score-card (http://www.fairagenda.org/family_violence_scorecard). The score-card shows that Greens clearly understand the issue and were prepared to act on it.
If you look closely at the score-card, neither Labor nor Liberal have demonstrated to the electorate that they have a comprehensive set of policies to prevent Family violence.
The 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence produced more than 200 recommendations which apply across government and the community. The Andrews Government accepted them all. These have only just started to be implemented, so barely anything has changed. The community response is still underfunded, and women and kids are still vulnerable.
On White Ribbon Day, November 25 you will probably see politicians from Labor and Liberal proudly wearing a white ribbon.
Ask them why they can’t better fund the community’s response to ending family violence – if they really mean it, why aren’t they prepared to do it?