It is imperative that in Western Australia we do not make assurances that the system will provide the safety net that women and children need and then fail to deliver because resources are spread so thin. Strong leadership and political will is instrumental to improving the system for victims of violence, holding perpetrators accountable and in time, preventing violence from occurring. 

In late 2015, key Peaks came together to form the Safe Systems Coalition. In the lead-up to the 2017 Western Australian election, the Coalition called on the next WA Government to commit to improving the systems that are meant to keep victims of family and domestic violence safe and hold perpetrators to account for their violence.

We asked all political parties to:

Utilise a collaborative, coordinated and adequately resourced approach to preventing violence against women

(read more here)

Make the justice system safe, supportive and responsive to the needs of women escaping violence

(read more here)

Establish high level, cross-governmental leadership

(read more here)

Hold violent perpetrators accountable and keep victims safe

(read more here)

Inadequate systemic responses increase risk to women and children.

We called for 16 key actions to work towards #safesystems

Appointing a designated Minister for the Prevention of Violence Against Women

Status:    Implemented

Being a leader in ensuring adequate leave provisions and entitlements for victims of family and domestic violence in the public sector

Status:   Partially implemented

Implementing the recommendations from the Enhancing Laws Concerning Family and Domestic Violence Inquiry, including non-legislative recommendations

Status:  Partially implemented

Establishing a high level, adequately resourced advisory group to the Government, comprised of representatives from all relevant sectors

Status:  Needs work

Establishing a Committee of Cabinet on the Prevention of Violence Against Women and their children

Status:   Implemented

Creating an Assistant Commissioner of Police with a designated portfolio on the prevention of violence against women

Status:   Not implemented

Significantly increasing funding for frontline services including refuges, advocacy services, community legal centres, safe at home programs

Status:   Not implemented

Ensuring future state strategic planning concerning violence against women is informed by broad consultation across sectors and community

Status:  Not implemented

Ensuring that any legislative reforms are backed with adequate resources and training to ensure they will be properly implemented

Status:   Partially implemented

Distributing an exposure draft of any bill proposing to enhance laws concerning family and domestic violence so that broad feedback can be sought

Status:     X

Ensuring the Judiciary, court staff and the legal profession receive regular and appropriate family and domestic violence training

Status: Unknown

Increasing availability and attendance of evidence-based men’s behaviour change programs that meet minimum standards

Status:   In progress

Implementing recommendations from the 2015 Ombudsman’s Investigation into Issues associated with violence restraining orders and their relationship with family and domestic violence fatalities

Status:   Partially implemented

Widening the remit of the Family and Domestic Violence Unit to become the Office for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and their children and to be located in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, to demonstrate that it is a priority

Status:    Not implemented

Adequately resourcing the WA Police, including:

  • ensuring police receive adequate and ongoing multidisciplinary family violence training; and
  • ensuring police are largely responsible for applying for VROs on behalf of victims

Status:  Not implemented 

Revising the WA Family and Domestic Violence Prevention Strategy to 2022 and future Action Plans to:

  • align with the outcomes with the National Plan of Action to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children and the National Prevention Framework (Change the Story);
  • address the root causes of violence against women and expressly refer to gender and intersecting inequalities that contribute to violence against women;
  • include interventions across individual, community, institutional and societal levels to address men’s violence against women; such as Respectful Relationships Education in all schools; and
  • ensure effective monitoring and evaluating mechanisms are built in and transparently  communicate who is responsible for what actions

Status:  Not implemented

Now it’s time for the next steps… Watch this space!

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