Violence against women is preventable and gender equity and adequate funding for front line services are at the heart of the solution, Greens MLC Hon Lynn MacLaren has said, ahead of the White Ribbon Day marches across Perth today.
“Safety is the first, most important priority. Providing safety to those fleeing violent situations is essential, which is why in Parliament recently I supported changes to Violence Restraining Orders,” Ms MacLaren said.
“We also need to keep challenging the ingrained attitudes, social norms and gender inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women.”
Ms MacLaren said recognising the importance of cultural change should be accompanied by adequate resourcing to ensure programs were developed and adequately funded to improve the status of women and relations between men and women.
“Domestic and family violence is a wicked problem – and clearly pay equity isn’t the only measure of the status between men and women,” she said.
“Nonetheless, it is a strong indicator of the disparity between men and women in this state.
Ms MacLaren said the community sector was struggling under the weight of increasing numbers of women seeking assistance – and yet funding was not being increased to support Western Australians in need of assistance.
“If agencies who are providing front line service are in constant doubt over continued funding and are struggling with high caseloads they will not be able to actualise their potential to assist,” she said.
“We all need to take responsibility to show leadership in preventing family and domestic violence and ensure income support, employment, housing , financial, legal and other systems work more effectively together to prevent, identify and respond to the social, economic and legal impacts of domestic violence.”