WEL continues to fight against the continuing depressingly high rates of violence against women in Australia.
Family, domestic and sexual violence impacts on all aspects of victims’ lives. On top of the physical and emotional trauma are the profound and long-lasting impacts on access to housing, childcare and employment.
Women and their children leaving violence in the home must have access to specialist women's domestic/family violence refuges and front-line services. Survivors must be supported to maintain their paid employment or be provided with a means of financial security whilst experiencing or leaving situations of violence.
Since 1974 WEL has campaigned for secure and sufficient long-term funding for specialist domestic violence services including women’s refuges, shelters and safe-houses. WEL’s long term vision is for a dedicated Women and Children’s Safety Program funded through a Commonwealth/State agreement.
In 2017 we decided to focus our campaign in alliance with the Equality Rights Alliance (ERA) and Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA): our objective has been to lobby governments for women’s specialist services to be prioritised in the Commonwealth National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA).
In 2018, WEL ran a campaign to 'keep the lights on in women's refuges', recognising that underfunded refuges saw many women and children in NSW forced to return to, or remain living with, violence. On 2 May 2018 we presented thousands of signatures-on-a-postcard supporting additional funding to cross-party politicians at NSW Parliament House.
Our 2019 campaign continued the fight for funded refuges, outreach services and transitional accommodation programs. We also sought targeted funding to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with disabilities, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTQI services and women who live in regional, rural and remote areas.
Our determined advocacy continues in 2022
See WEL’s Federal Election Policy Platform for reducing and eliminating family, domestic and sexual violence against women here
As recognised by the 2021 Parliamentary Report of the Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence, women and children continue to suffer. The impact of ongoing violence and accompanying abuse is profound and enduring on victim/survivors, on their families and friends, the economy and, indeed, ‘the very fabric of our society’.
The Federal Government must take urgent action to implement the 88 recommendations of this report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs.
Leading up to the 2022 Federal election WEL’s focus is on securing clear commitments for funding to implement the new National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022- 2032 and its Action Plans.
There must be a separate National Plan targeted at prevention and intervention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and programs targeted at women living with disabilities, culturally and linguistically diverse women, LGBTQI+ women and all children affected by violence.
We continue to advocate for funding for refuges, shelters, and emergency, temporary and transitional accommodation under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.