The Baillieu Government needs to start protecting vulnerable women and children in Geelong and come up with a plan to tackle an alarming rise in family violence across Victoria, Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP said today.
Ms Tierney today called on the Geelong community to send a personal message to Premier Ted Baillieu and express their concern about the Baillieu Government’s lack of action on family violence.
To mark White Ribbon Day Ms Tierney joined community members and primary school students from the Geelong community in Little Malop Street today.
White Ribbon Day is the United Nations designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women that aims to raise awareness about the issue.
“Violence against women and children in the home can and must stop,” Ms Tierney said.
“The latest statistics show family violence accounted for 30 per cent of all assaults in Victoria and a 14.6 per cent increase in reports of family violence.
“However, after one year in office the Baillieu Government has developed no plan to tackle family violence and has allocated no new money for specific family violence programs.
“The only action it has taken on family violence was to refuse to fund the award-winning BSafe program which has protected hundreds of vulnerable women and children in Victoria’s north.”
“To mark White Ribbon Day I wish to invite the Geelong community to join me in calling on the Baillieu Government to fund a comprehensive family violence strategy that addresses prevention as well as enforcement.
“To assist the Baillieu Government, Labor has developed Five Principles for Addressing Family Violence, a document to inform the Government’s approach.
Labor’s five principles are:
• Sufficient funding;
• Equal access to family violence services and information;
• Public education;
• Whole of Government approach; and
• A statement to parliament.
Ms Tierney said the Baillieu Government talked tough on crime, yet the Minister for Crime Prevention, Andrew McIntosh, has said family violence was a Women’s Affairs issue.
“Clearly, Mr McIntosh is happy to handball the issue to a junior portfolio and does not believe family violence is a top priority for him or the Baillieu Government,” Ms Tierney said.
“But this is not surprising given this year’s Budget failed to allocate a single new dollar for specific domestic violence programs – and there is no mention of a plan to tackle family violence in Mr Baiilieu’s Families Statement.
“Family violence is a mainstream community safety issue and the government should treat it as such.”
In contrast, Ms Tierney said Labor in Government invested $175 million in family violence reform that supported an increase in the number of women reporting family violence to police.
“Thanks to our investment in community education programs, women are now more likely to report family violence crimes to police,” Ms Tierney said.
“But anecdotal evidence of an increase in the incidence of family violence due to uncertain economic times is disturbing.
“Which is why now is the time for the Geelong community to send a message to the Baillieu Government to act now on family violence.”
Send your message to Mr Baillieu by email to Ted.firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about Labor’s Five Principles for Addressing Family Violence go to danielandrews.com.au.