Women and Violence
This is Fact Sheet 3, relating to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott's, media release "Government releases ten year study on women’s health".
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What is the government doing to prevent violence against women?The Australian Government is strongly committed to reducing domestic violence and sexual assault and has provided funding of $75.7 million over four years to this issue through the Women's Safety Agenda.
The Women's Safety Agenda builds on two previous government initiatives, Partnerships Against Domestic Violence and the National Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault, both of which concluded in June 2005.
The Women's Safety Agenda addresses four themes: prevention, health, justice and services.
What practical help does the government provide to women who experience assault?Under the agenda, the government is funding training for practice nurses working for doctors in regional and rural areas to help them deal with domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Training is also being provided for people working in the criminal justice sector, on how to better deal with sexual assault cases.
Under the Partnerships Against Domestic Violence initiative, the government committed over $72 million to find better ways of combating domestic and family violence. This initiative funded more than 230 diverse and innovative projects related to domestic violence at the local, regional and national level, as well as research and documentation of good practice.
How can the government influence community attitudes to domestic violence?A national media campaign run in June 2004, Violence Against Women. Australia Says No, had a major impact in raising awareness of domestic violence and generated more than 44,000 calls to the Helpline.
The Violence Against Women. Australia Says No. campaign began a re-run on 24 July 2005. The campaign targets 16 to 39 year olds and consists of television, magazine, cinema, indigenous and ethnic press and convenience advertising.
The campaign is supported by a 24 hour a day, seven days a week dedicated Helpline, which provides a counselling and referral service not only for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, but for all Australians who are concerned about the issues surrounding violence against women. Since the campaign resumed in July, the Helpline has received nearly 6,000 calls.
Funding under the Women’s Safety Agenda for the campaign and Helpline is $36 million over four years.
Since 2001, the government has also been working with businesses to raise awareness within the workplace of the issue of domestic violence and its impacts on the corporate sector.
Does the Australian Government support research on domestic violence in Australia?Yes, the Access Economics report The Cost of Domestic Violence to the Australian Economy is a world-class piece of research on domestic violence. While showing that the overall cost to Australia of domestic violence is $8.1 billion in 2002-2003, it also indicates the very significant costs to the health system in both the short and long term, for physical and mental trauma.
Under the Women's Safety Agenda, the government is continuing to fund research on domestic and sexual violence, as well as providing ongoing funding to the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse and the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault.
The government is contributing $3.4 million for the Personal Safety Survey being carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, to provide up-to-date information on women and men's experiences of violence.