Statement from Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL)
WEL welcomes the COAG National Summit on Reducing Violence against Women that was held in Brisbane on Friday 28 October.
However WEL is very disappointed that the Summit chose not to address crisis services for women and children escaping violence. The need for such services, and for them to receive long-term secure Commonwealth/State funding, is critical to our national goal of eliminating domestic violence. These services are critical in homicide prevention, especially with so many Australian women being killed by their partners each year. Women need safe places to escape to and to receive expert crisis assistance.
The Summit held roundtable discussions on such topics as ‘using behavioural insights to reduce domestic violence’, ‘innovative uses of technology’ as well as important discussions on the Family Court, on Indigenous insights and experiences and the effects of domestic violence on children, but there is nothing on the agenda about crisis services, including women’s refuges.
WEL has long argued that crisis services for women and their children fleeing domestic violence are needed, and along with many women’s organisations has been campaigning for a Women and Children’s Safety program, a long term Commonwealth /State Funding program for women’s refuges. (See: http://www.wel.org.au/our_2_cents).
WEL expresses deep concern that the COAG Summit does not see crisis services and their long term secure funding as a key issue in the prevention of violence against women.
WEL calls on the COAG Summit to include support for long term secure Commonwealth /State funding for women’s crisis services in its deliberations and follow up actions.
If you or your organisation would like to send a statement to the COAG summit expressing disappointment that the Summit has chosen not to address crisis services for women and children escaping violence, you can do this by registering via the Summit website or sending an email to the COAG Summit secretariat on [email protected].
It would be great if you could let us know of any action you/your organisation are able to take by emailing [email protected].
Here's an example of a statement from the Lane Cove Women's Action and Information Group- WAIG's Statement to COAG.
Read the Aboriginal Women's Legal Rights Movement Inc's statement.
You can also participate in the conversations happening at the summit on the day by following #coagvawsummit on Twitter.