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Domestic, Family & Relationship Violence

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The Youth Coalition asked parties and independent candidates about their policies on domestic, family and relationship violence. We asked:
- How will you better support young people who are victims of domestic, family or relationship violence?

The full responses we received from parties and independent candidates are below. 
Click here for a snapshot of their policies on domestic, family and relationship violence.

ACT Greens

Domestic and family violence touches people from every walk of life. One in four women in Australia have experienced one or more incidents of violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
We're in the midst of a domestic violence crisis - but our safety net is full of holes. We are failing victims and survivors of domestic violence, and we need to invest in the solutions. Increased media attention and awareness is vital, but as more victims seek help, demand on already overstretched services will keep climbing.
We need to stop violence is before occurs by challenging the deeply ingrained attitudes, social norms and gender inequalities that give rise to men's violence against women. In government, we've supported a new systematic approach by creating a men's behaviour change program in the ACT for perpetrators or men at risk of using violence.
The Greens are also listening to experts and front line service providers. We know that we need a major increase in funding for domestic violence services to keep victims and survivors safe, hold perpetrators to account and work for gender equality.

ACT Labor

The increasing numbers of people reporting family violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault, is an issue that all Australians should be concerned about. The effects of this violence are devastating, and we know that it crosses socioeconomic and cultural boundaries and imposes a burden on the whole community.

The statistics are extremely alarming. Close to half of all Australians have experienced violence since the age of 15, and one third of women have experienced violence by someone who they know. On average, one Australian woman is killed by a current or former partner every week.

Domestic violence is not just a police problem, or a government problem. It’s everyone’s problem, and we all have a responsibility to stand up and say enough is enough. There is simply no place for family violence in our community.

We need to change the way we approach this problem and we need to do more. In this year’s Budget, the Government delivered the most comprehensive family violence prevention package in the ACT’s history. My government is committing $21.42 million to reduce family violence, with measures including:

  • The creation of a full-time Coordinator General for Family Safety, and a dedicated safe families team; 
  •  Strengthening and coordinate our services for victims of family violence;
  • Improving our child protection services.

It is important that the whole community comes together to address the scourge of family violence, and my government is doing all it can to lead a community response

Canberra Liberals

The Canberra Liberals are absolutely committed to breaking down the terrible scourge of domestic violence. Obviously, domestic violence is a terrible thing to be experienced by anyone at any age, but the damage done to younger victims affects their entire outlook. Last year, the Canberra Liberals were one of the leading forces in establishing a domestic violence roundtable which discussed policy initiatives.

We have committed to establishing a dedicated domestic violence court to deal efficiently with domestic violence cases in a consistent way and the Canberra Liberals are committed to ongoing funding in this area.

We believe tackling domestic violence should be the core business of government and we’ll look to further collaborate with the police, the court system, legal community, community groups and other governments to continue the crackdown. In many ways, the work in this area is only just beginning, it’s imperative to continue. 

Independent Candidates

Joel McKay, Independent Candidate for Brindabella

Domestic violence has become a major issue in Australia, with the number of victims growing at an alarming rate. High rental prices and a lack of public housing is forcing many sufferers in Canberra to stay at home or face homelessness. The ACT Government must ensure that vulnerable women and children have access to suitable emergency accommodation. We cannot afford to funnel victims of domestic violence into the public housing system, as it is unsustainable and will increase the already significant public housing waiting lists.

I believe the ACT also needs to address domestic violence through education. Canberra schools need to be instilling a philosophy that domestic violence of any kind is unacceptable and abhorrent. Children and adolescents need to be provided an understanding of the negative effects of domestic violence, and also be taught what options are available when suffering from the impacts. An understanding of domestic violence needs to be incorporated into the Australian Curriculum and made a learning outcome for all young Australians.  

If elected, I will encourage the Government to increase funding for anti-domestic violence measures, including crisis services and education programs. I will also appeal for the Government to build more emergency accommodation that is specifically designed for assisting victims of domestic violence.


The above information was provided by the parties and/or candidates listed, and authorised for publication on this website by Emma Robertson, Youth Coalition of the ACT