The National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children in one generation clearly states that we need a well-resourced, highly functioning response across 4 key pillars:
Recovery and reestablishment.
The family and domestic violence sector knows how to be effective, to have an impact across these 4 pillars but we don’t have the capacity. The WA Government needs to face up to the fact that no matter how hard the family and domestic violence sector works to drive change there is only so much we can do with the very limited resources that we have. And we do a lot with those very limited resources, such that we have high burnout rates.
The WA State Government will list all the things that they have done and that they have funded to respond to domestic and family violence and we are always grateful for any support. But it isn’t enough to prevent women and children from being killed. It’s nowhere near enough. And given that it is a state and national crisis, why isn’t the Premier of Western Australia banging on our door looking for solutions? Why isn’t he coming to talk to the experts, the advocates, the people with lived experience? Why isn’t he on the front foot here? Where is the leadership that we so desperately need?
A public health and human rights crisis of the scale of family and domestic violence demands leadership from the Premier of this State. Support the family and domestic violence sector to do the work that they know needs to be done, to lead a genuine whole-of-community, whole-of-government response. Get behind us and work with us. We can prevent it, but only if we work shoulder to shoulder and only with investment that matches the scale of the problem.
So long as victim-survivors can’t get the support they need when they need it, so long as victim-survivors can’t get the safe house they need when they need it, so long as the person using violence can’t get the support he needs to change his behaviour when he needs it, so long as we have threadbare support for women and children to recover and reestablish themselves and to remain safe post-separation, so long as we are without capacity to work with the community to prevent violence in their day-to-day lives, so long as we can’t support the workforce to play their role to the best of their ability then we aren’t doing enough. And we aren’t doing enough!