THE state’s political parties have been given until next Wednesday to commit, in writing, to funding and implementing all 227 recommendations by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Peak bodies for the prevention and response to family violence in Victoria have arranged a forum in Melbourne on October 24 to explore how the parties running for government plan to continue the state’s work to end men’s violence against women and their children.
Domestic Violence Victoria, Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault, No to Violence, and Gender Equity Victoria wrote to each of the major parties last week seeking written confirmation that they would fund and implement each of the Royal Commission’s recommendations if elected on November 24.
“We’ve had an incredible investment into having a Royal Commission in the first place,” Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack said.
“It would be such a shocking waste of resources and effort if that was abandoned and a different approach was taken up.”
Ms McCormack said the Victorian Greens had already affirmed their commitment to the cause by Monday morning, when the agencies launched the Unite Against Family Violence campaign.
Loddon Campaspe Centre Against Sexual Assault chief executive Kate Wright represented CASAs statewide at the event, which took place on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne at 9.30am.
Ms Wright said it was great to see sexual assault represented as part of the campaign, and to be there to represent CASA Forum.
“The [Royal Commission’s] recommendations are supported by the sector,” she said.
Family violence survivor advocate Liana Papoutsis said she believed the state of Victoria was in a really fortunate position as a leader in the prevention and response to family violence.
She spoke at the campaign launch on Monday morning of the need for that important work to continue.
“This is an issue that’s beyond politics,” Ms Papoutsis said.
“This is not a [political] football you can use… it doesn’t belong to a particular party as a political issue that has to be resolved.
“We’re talking about people’s lives, here.”
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She said family violence affected people from all walks of life, regardless of their political persuasion. As such, it needed a bipartisan approach.
“When you’re dealing with social reform, you’ve got to be in it for the long-haul,” Ms Papoutsis said.
She said ending men’s violence against women and their children was not just about the people enduring family violence.
“We need to really work on prevention,” Ms Papoutsis said.
Working on prevention called for a shift in entrenched attitudes, which she said would take a long time to change.
“What we’ve seen in Victoria in particular is a change in the narrative of family violence,” Ms Papoutsis said.
But she said Victorians could not afford to take their eyes off the ball.
If all the Royal Commission’s recommendations weren’t implemented and funded, Ms Papoutsis said there would be a failure in reforms
“Political parties can’t afford to let anyone down. In terms of victim survivors, they have already let us down in the past,” she said.
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