Victorian Budget is a billion-dollar investment in community safety

3rd May 2017

A billion-dollar investment in community safety by the Andrews government will protect thousands of women and children in Victoria from the damage caused by family or domestic violence, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

ALA National President Tony Kenyon congratulated the Victorian government for its budget commitment to spend $1.9 billion to implement the 227 recommendations of last year's Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Mr Kenyon called on governments across Australia to follow Victoria’s lead and commit more resources to fighting domestic violence and improving community safety.

“The Andrews government’s commitment to spend nearly two billion dollars in this week’s budget on combatting domestic violence is truly remarkable,” Mr Kenyon said.

“Women are dying on a weekly basis as a result of violence from an intimate partner. Domestic violence is a tragedy occurring in homes across Victoria, and across the nation, every day. It is a huge problem, and the Australian Lawyers Alliance commends the government for making community safety a priority.”

“The Victorian government is to be applauded for devoting real resources to helping people feel safe in their homes, and getting them the assistance that they need when they need to flee violence.”

“This investment shows a genuine commitment by the government to community safety,” Mr Kenyon said. “It will have a real and dramatic impact on the lives of people who are exposed to family violence and protect untold numbers of women and children from the serious consequences from such violence”.

“On average, ten women are hospitalised daily as a result of domestic violence,” Mr Kenyon said. “This is a national emergency, and the funding in this budget reflects that the Victorian government recognises this.”

“Devoting resources both to assist those who are at risk to find safety, as well as to perpetrators of violence to reform their behaviour, shows that the government is serious in implementing a cultural shift away from violence,” Mr Kenyon said.

“After all, it is the perpetrators who pose the risk, so resources are needed to assist them to stop using violence against their partners and children.”

Mr Kenyon congratulated the individuals working in the sector who have advocated for years for more support to combat domestic violence. “This is their victory, as well as a victory for families at risk of violence,” Mr Kenyon said.

Mr Kenyon called on the Opposition to support the family violence funding in full.

“Eliminating family violence is in the interest of all Victorians, and is not an issue which should be subject to the whims of politics,” Mr Kenyon said. “Governments across Australia should follow Victoria’s historic lead and increase funding to tackle the scourge of domestic violence in their own communities.”