12 February 2024

Today Zali Steggall MP will highlight the shocking statistics behind Australia’s domestic violence crisis and call for government to urgently enact five key actions that would assist to urgently turn this around.

Zali Steggall MP said: “Domestic and intimate partner violence is national crisis and whilst impacting all genders, the casualties are overwhelmingly women.

“On average, a woman is killed at the hands of an intimate partner every week. Despite successive governments’ well-meaning efforts, little progress has been made in 30 years.

“If a person were being killed by any other means at this rate, it would spark national outrage and be deemed a crisis. Yet, when another woman becomes a statistic, we witness sympathy and handwringing, but mere condolences won't suffice. We need tangible action.

“What we are currently doing is not working, an urgent change in approach is required.”

The Member for North Sydney Kylea Tink who is seconding the motion said: “We know this government can move with speed when it feels there is a crisis it needs to address, as we saw late last year with the rush of laws to deal with immigration detainees.

“How many more women need to die before the response to Australia’s domestic violence crises matches the scale of the problem?

“Proven programs are not being routinely rolled out nation-wide. The Staying Home Leaving Violence program helps prevent women from becoming homeless as a result of ending a domestic violence relationship, but it only operates in 91 of 128 local government areas in NSW and none of them are in Sydney’s north shore.

“The Federal Government has an opportunity in the upcoming budget to end this piecemeal approach to funding proven domestic violence services.”

The Member for Goldstein Zoe Daniel who has also been advocating for change said: “How long do we have to keep saying this is a national emergency? The statistics are horrifying. We must act now.

“Intimate partner violence is the biggest preventable threat to the health, wellbeing, and safety of Australian women. Eliminating family violence requires leadership, coordination, and investment to build the evidence base needed to identify points of early intervention”.

The member for Warringah is calling for the Albanese government to urgently convene a crisis National Cabinet meeting of federal, state and territory ministers to:  

  • Review the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children (2022-2032) to ensure it is bringing about the required action and policies to prevent violence against women and children across Australia
  • Commission a review of all state criminal sentencing provisions and the use of character references for domestic violence and gender-based abuse to ensure they are fit-for-purpose in holding perpetrators of violence against women to account;
  • Increase the capacity of specialist services to assist women fleeing domestic violence to stay alive, such crisis support, appropriate accommodation, leave advice and advocacy and income support and ensure they are properly funded;
  • Fully fund proven programs that have been shown by research to be an effective, such as the Staying Home Leaving Violence Program;
  • Agree on further concrete, measurable and streamlined efforts across all levels of government based on sound evidence to bring down the horrific number of cases of domestic violence against women and children from this year.