• Victims of domestic violence (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made his first policy announcement a $100 million dollar package to tackle domestic violence.
By
Myles Morgan

Source:
NITV News
24 Sep 2015 - 5:41 PM  UPDATED 24 Sep 2015 - 6:58 PM

 

TRANSCRIPT

Natalie Ahmat: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made his first policy announcement: a 100 million dollar package to tackle family violence.

It's an issue that affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women at least twice as much as other Australians.

We asked domestic-violence prevention workers how this funding would help tackle a national crisis.

Myles Morgan: The Redfern Legal Centre is one the first stops in the fight against domestic violence in Sydney.

Workers like Charmaigne Weldon try to help First Nations women with the difficult process of AVOs.

Charmaigne Weldon, specialist domestic-violence prevention worker: We really need experienced frontline workers that are culturally appropriate, that understand where an Indigenous woman is coming from and our past, our history. 

Domestic violence is a national shame in Australia.

[Images of women who have been killed by domestic violence in 2015]

These are the faces of some of the women killed in violent incidents this year alone.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: Already this year, 63 women have been killed by their partners or a family member. In New South Wales, in the last three days, three women have been killed in these circumstances and one baby. Three incidents in three days. This is a disgrace. 

Myles Morgan: A disgrace the Turnbull government wants to eradicate.

The government has announced a $100-million safety package to protect women and families. It includes $12 million to be spent on technology like perpetrator trackers.

$17 million on improving security at homes for victims. A $5 million dollar injection for the 1800 RESPECT hotline and over $10 million on frontline training for doctors, police and community workers.

The government will also set aside millions for Indigenous people. Up to $15 million for police to prevent violence in remote Queensland communities, nearly $4 million for cross border intelligence for remote WA, SA and NT communities, and over $2 million for NT bush police and remote Indigenous community prevention programs.

Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women: We don't want women having to travel between different services, telling their story 10 times. Because often, they tell their story once and they don't want to have to do that again. So we're going to be working with the States and Territories in identified domestic violence hot spots.

Malcolm Turnbull: It is my dream, that Australia will, in the future, be known for respecting women so that when people talk about Australia, they'll say "Boy, those Australians, they really respect women".

Myles Morgan: The previous government signed an agreement which will cut about $12 million from from community legal centres in 2017.

The Redfern Legal Centre doesn't know how the previous cuts will measure up against this new money.

Joanna Shulman, Redfern Legal Centre CEO: We're still trying to forecast exactly what the effects will be because they haven't announced how they're going to be spread but we're anticipating if each legal centre is allocated a 25 percent cut, then we'll be losing a quarter of our legal services.

Myles Morgan: If services like Redfern's don't get any of this new finance and are still looking at a funding cut, the government's strong words won't translate into action.

Joanna Shulman: We already turn away women experiencing domestiv violence and the funding cuts mean we'll have to turn more away.