This Week is National Families Week 2019 (15-21 May), the Australian Association of Social Worker's (AASW), celebrates families as the central building block of our society. This year’s theme, Stronger Families, Stronger Communities, highlights their protective and nurturing capacity, while also recognising the threats to families from gender-based violence.
The AASW recent media release highlights, “However, we also see far too often that the very place that women and children should feel safe, within a family unit, is the very place where they are most at risk.” Family violence is still far too prevalent in Australia, with those who perpetrate family violence destroying the safety and caring that the family unit should provide to all its members.
Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that family violence is a leading cause of homelessness in children under 10. The high rate of child protection notifications correlates with the family violence that is perpetrated against women and children. At least one woman per week is killed by a current or former partner in Australia.
“These devastating instances of family violence need to stop. It begins with cultural change and government policies, including the funding of early intervention as well as support at the crisis and recovery level, especially housing and income support for those escaping violence.
We need the next government to commit to using the recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence as a blueprint for national systemic reforms.
“If Australia is to build Stronger Families and Stronger Communities, this must begin with addressing the national emergency that is occurring within the family home across Australia.”
If you or anyone you know is experiencing family violence, listen, support and refer to services that can assist and together participate in supporting reform and changes to our culture and policies.
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