Federal budget: Government leadership vital to keep women safe

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Author: Our Watch media team
Posted: 15 May, 2024
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    National violence prevention organisation Our Watch has welcomed some new investment in women’s safety and gender equality measures in the Federal Budget and has reiterated the significant government leadership required to keep women safe.

    Chief Executive Officer Patty Kinnersly said the Budget builds on important work already being done but there is an opportunity for further investment by governments across all parts of the system: primary prevention, early intervention, response and recovery.

    “Violence against women is a national emergency.  The last few months have again shown how urgent this issue is across the community. This means significant government leadership and investment are needed to keep women safe,” Ms Kinnersly said.

    “We welcome some investment in women’s safety and measures to achieve gender equality in the Budget last night.

    “These include funding for the Leaving Violence Program, to better understand perpetration, to protect children from harmful online content including pornography, and for more transitional accommodation for women and children escaping violence.”

    Ms Kinnersly also welcomed the commitment responding to high rates of sexual violence on university campuses, including $18.7 million for a National Higher Education Code to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence and $19.4 million for the establishment of a National Student Ombudsman

    “However, additional investment is needed to achieve the goal of the National Plan to end violence against women in one generation, particularly for frontline services, including legal assistance services.

    “We remain committed to our vision of an Australia where women and their children are free from violence and we look forward to continuing to work with the Australian Government and all state and territory governments to end violence against women.”

    In reaction to other budget measures, Our Watch:

    • welcomes the increased gender lens on policy and decision making across government and the Women’s Budget Statement
    • acknowledges the specific measures designed to contribute to gender equality that will have positive impacts for women, including changes to the indexation of higher education loans, payment of superannuation on government-funded paid parental leave and commitments to increased wages for early childhood educators and aged care workers
    • looks forward to hearing more about and working with the Australian Government in relation to the $1.3 million allocated to establish an independent expert panel to undertake a rapid review of the approach to violence prevention
    • recognises the importance of sport as part of prevention and welcomes the investment of $36.3 million to tackle abuse, bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct in sport
    • welcomes funding to establish a new National Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People.

    Media contact

    Please contact media@ourwatch.org.au or call 0448 844 930.

    If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

    1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family, and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, chat online via www.1800RESPECT.org.au, or text 0458 737 732.   Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491 

    Access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children.

    Our Watch

    Our Watch is a national leader in Australia’s work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the practices, norms, and structures that lead to violence against women and children. Read more about Our Watch here.