we need to:

ESTABLISH HIGH LEVEL, CROSS-GOVERNMENTAL LEADERSHIP, BY:

  • Appointing a designated Minister for the Prevention of Violence Against Women
  • 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
  • Establishing a Committee of Cabinet on the Prevention of Violence Against Women and their children
  • Establishing a high level, adequately resourced advisory group to the Government, comprised of representatives from all relevant sectors
  • Creating an Assistant Commissioner of Police with a designated portfolio on the prevention of violence against women

See the Priority Area 1 info sheet for more information.

UTILISE A COLLABORATIVE, COORDINATED AND ADEQUATELY RESOURCED APPROACH TO PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, BY:

  • Significantly increasing funding for frontline services including refuges, advocacy services, community legal centres, safe at home programs
  • 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
  • Ensuring future state strategic planning concerning violence against women is informed by broad consultation across sectors and community

See the Priority Area 2 info sheet for more information.

MAKE THE JUSTICE SYSTEM SAFE, SUPPORTIVE AND RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF WOMEN ESCAPING VIOLENCE, BY:

  • Implementing the recommendations from the Enhancing Laws Concerning Family and Domestic Violence Inquiry, including non-legislative recommendations
  • Ensuring that any legislative reforms are backed with adequate resources and training to ensure they will be properly implemented
  • Distributing an exposure draft of any bill proposing to enhance laws concerning family and domestic violence so that broad feedback can be sought
  • Ensuring the Judiciary, court staff and the legal profession receive regular and appropriate family and domestic violence training

See the Priority Area 3 info sheet for more information.

HOLD VIOLENT PERPETRATORS ACCOUNTABLE AND KEEP VICTIMS SAFE, BY:

  • 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
  • Increasing availability and attendance of evidence-based men’s behaviour change programs that meet minimum standards
  • Implementing recommendations from the 2015 Ombudsman’s Investigation into Issues associated with violence restraining orders and their relationship with family and domestic violence fatalities
  • Being a leader in ensuring adequate leave provisions and entitlements for victims of family and domestic violence in the public sector

See the Priority Area 4 info sheet for more information.

IN CONCLUSION

The above details the specific actions we are calling on all parties to address in the lead-up to the state election.  To sustain women’s safety, we must ensure that income support, employment, housing, financial, legal and other systems work more effectively together to prevent, identify and respond to the economic, social and legal impacts of domestic violence. A significant increase in state budget resources is required to address this issue as a matter of urgency.