Check out these three articles in the Age describing the need for increased funds for family violence support services.
22 August 2012 | The Age
At least a thousand children left traumatised after witnessing domestic violence in Melbourne each year are missing out on specialist counselling because of funding shortfalls. Women’s Health West said that in 2009-10… 3150 children in Melbourne’s west saw family violence. CEO Robyn Gregory said… WHW had government funding for only 1.6 full-time positions and was able to offer its specialist counselling service to only 86 of these children.
22 August 2012 | The Age
THE Coalition won office vowing to ”get tough on crime”. Recent crime rises are entirely driven by domestic violence… Yet the state budget ignored the associated needs of tens of thousands of victims of domestic violence. The agencies that work to protect them face a funding crisis… The latest $40 million blowout in the PSO program is about 13 times the total budget for Women’s Health West, the sole agency for domestic violence victims in Melbourne’s west.
21 August 2012 | The Age
VICTORIA’S domestic violence agencies are facing a crisis as cash-strapped services struggle to cope with a surge in cases, leaving women more exposed to violent situations. Robyn Gregory, of Women’s Health West, the only service agency in Melbourne’s west, said…it meant staff were being removed from managing women trapped in complex situations because they were responding to the crisis cases.
Women’s Health West is dedicated to women’s health, safety and wellbeing. We recognise that women’s sexual decision-making occurs within the contexts of gender-based power imbalances, gender stereotypes and social norms. This is not a new phenomenon and it is appropriate that young people explore and express their sexuality in a healthy, equitable, respectful, consensual and developmentally ‘normal’ way. What is problematic is when sexual expression – through any medium – replicates and reinforces inequitable gender power relations between men and women.
Like all sexual practices, sexting does not occur in the abstract. The sexualisation of young women in contemporary culture, media and the internet, creates a broader context within which young people engage in sexual activity and sexual decision-making, including sexting. However, the electronic and online nature of sexting means the practice presents significant new and real concerns, particularly for young people. The very nature of information and communication technologies mean that once an image has been created electronically it can very quickly and easily be transmitted, without the control or consent of the subject/participant. The consequences for young people engaging in sexting present significant health, social and legal implications.
This year, the Law Reform Committee of the Parliament of Victoria sought recommendations regarding the incidence and prevalence of sexting among young people, the effectiveness of existing education and awareness initiatives, and the appropriateness of current laws that can be applied to the practice.
WHW was successful in our funding application to Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) for a three-year respectful relationships education program with young people.
This is great news, especially because it allows us to strengthen and broaden our prevention of violence against women work in the region.
Me, You and Us is a multi-faceted program that uses a peer education model to train and support forty-eight young women (18 to 24 years) to become ‘youth ambassadors’ in the primary prevention of violence against women through the delivery of respectful relationships education in youth organisations and to senior primary school students in the western metropolitan region of Melbourne.
Women who have experienced family violence should be able to stay in their home if it’s safe to do so and have the violent person leave. Women’s Health West have a new site that shows ways to make your home and your family safer: www.safeathome.com.au
We also have posters and safety planning booklets, contact us to order yours!
Help us change the perception that women must leave their homes after violence and risk the disruption moving can cause including disconnection from employment, community, school, friends, family and other support networks, leading to a cycle of homelessness and intergenerational disadvantage.