How can we ask for one life to be prioritised over another?

ANNIE North has been raising funds to put towards a new refuge for women and children fleeing violence in Bendigo for many years.

The organisation has a number of refuges across the city, but like all others in the the state, they are at capacity every night - and women and children are being turned away.

As Annie North chief executive Julie Oberin says, enough is enough - it's time to build the new facility.

A royal commission into family violence is a welcome announcement and there is no doubt many will be curious and anxious to see the outcomes.

But the reality is, that we can't wait that long for change.

There needs to be significant investment in prevention, and indeed in the services that offer a safe place for women and children when they seek help. You can't do one without the other.

We are asking too much of all services in this field. Those in primary prevention and crisis management are under-resourced and always juggling priorities. 

How can we keep asking them to prioritise one life over another? 

How many more lives do we have to lose before we ask that question?

We cannot continue to put critical services in the position where they are turning away women and children fleeing potentially lethal situations.

But the reality is, despite their best efforts, we are doing just that. 

Nicole Ferrie, deputy editor

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