A colleague of mine, Yesha Joshi, has written an article in the e-zine Indian Link. It speaks about domestic and sexual violence in Australia and touches on a couple of issues and comments by the Adelaide YWCA. I wrote a comment which I have reproduced below:
Important subject not only in Australia but Worldwide.
The First Action Plan of the National Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children has proceeded and the report can be found here. The government website describes this first phase as follows:
“The First Action Plan (2010-2013) – Building a Strong Foundation, establishes the groundwork for the National Plan putting into place the strategic projects and actions that will drive results over the longer term while also implementing high-priority actions in the short term. The National Implementation Plan for the first three years, outlines how all Australian governments and the community will work together to lay the groundwork for the future and sets the scene for the first three years of the National Plan.”
It is heartening to see what government and NGOs have done in that 2010-2012 period and I hope to see it move to bigger and better things including the consultation of those who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault themselves as well as those of us who support people subjected to such criminal acts.
On perusing the website of The Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children it is understandable that they are still very much in start-up mode with two members (the Federal and Victorian State Governments) and a Board. A Report of the National Consultations has been effected and on reading it there is a professional air about it, and some wonderful opportunity and intent. My hope is that effective aspects of the report – and more – is bourn out in practice. I understand, too, that these things take time. Admittedly the site could be out of date but I am disappointed to see the absence of, for example, the Greens listed as either sponsors, partners, members or funding bodies. It IS the only national issue-specific organisation involved in the reduction of domestic and sexual violence against women and children.
In the meantime I and others will continue to work with NGOs, government and other stakeholders in the often piecemeal ways we do at the coalface where we struggle to accommodate women with children in emergency situations because funding and facilities are so rare or non-existent. We will continue to give overnight parcels and what must appear to be hollow verbal hope as we turn women and children away because we or other services close at 4pm or cannot assess referrals because they are full or short-staffed.
In this time of disgusting social justice records it just seems to be another issue banging at government doors…
The article is titled “Doomed to domestic violence”