Last year I reported on the closure of Elsie, Australia’s first domestic violence shelter, under the NSW Government’s “Going Home, Staying Home” homelessness ‘initiative’. Most of the women-run services were closed, and services generally went into the hands of larger religious organisations.
Two items hit my newsfeed today. Firstly, the very same state Liberal government who brought in the GHSH ‘initiative’, made this announcement:
People would have the ability to ask if their partners were previous domestic violence offenders under a re-elected Coalition government, Premier Mike Baird has told an International Women’s Day breakfast in Sydney.
Pru Goward would become the state’s first Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence under a package of reforms announced on Friday.
“There is a plague in our state that we need to eradicate and that is domestic violence and sexual assault,” Mr Baird told the Sydney International Women’s Day Breakfast at Australian Technology Park.
“Every single week we lose someone amongst us to domestic violence. And incredibly this year it has actually spiked, so that is a clear reminder we have to do more.”
“We lose someone”, really, another politician who is behind the times, as since the beginning of this year it has been two women each week. Also, the downside of a disclosure scheme puts the onus onto women to find out if a potential partner had a violent history, and given the lack lustre conviction rates, it is highly unlikely for a previous offence or offences to be recorded in the first place.
Even though Baird might not have been party leader and Premier at the time the GHSH ‘initiative’ was drawn up and launched, he was leader before the tenders had closed, and before the scheme was instigated (most of the disruption was around the middle of 2014). As for Pru Goward, currently Minister for Women under the Baird government, but was previously Minister for Family and Community Services. Goward did nothing to stop GHSH either.
This is the hollow and pathetic load of promises the women of NSW are supposed to swallow for International Women’s Day 2015—the year the serious spike in DV femicides happened. Not buying it.
But not to forget the international joke and ‘scrapping the carbon tax will allow women to do more ironing‘ misogynist and self appointed Minister for Women, Tony Abbott.
Abbott’s you-beaut brainstorm consists of announcing a $30 million dollar awareness campaign to tell the Australian public that “DV is wrong, m’kay?”. Tony, I think everyone already knows. In fact, I am sure of it, which is why most wife-beating is done behind closed doors, even the perps know it already.
That $30 million is desperately needed back into the support sector, as Abbott had already whisked away $100 million since coming to power. An awareness campaign is the biggest waste of money, no, I stand corrected, $12 billion on a bunch of boys’ toys fighter jets is actually a bigger waste of money. Nice job, Mr Minister for Women, nice job.
I am sure that 58 more(!) fighter jets, a pile of ironing, and an awareness campaign will go a long way into protecting Australian women and children from the real threat of terror in their homes. But don’t forget women, to look up that registry, otherwise the onus is on yourselves if you get killed!