It is both appropriate and high time that the Government spends money and dedicates resources to dealing with the devastating issue of family and domestic abuse and the recently announced $60 million funding is a significant investment in working towards resolving the problem.
However, there are concerns that the new found focus on this horrendous issue could merely be the ‘flavour of the month’ and over time, the critical importance of addressing domestic abuse in our country will diminish over time. Domestic violence in Australia is not new. Historically it has, and continues, to ruin families and end lives and activists have been calling for a spotlight to be beamed on causes and solutions for a long time.
Whilst it is timely that the focus is on this issue, it is also short-sighted and unrealistically hopeful to believe that merely throwing money and resources at it, short-term, will ‘fix it.’
Domestic violence is a complex, multi-layered issue that permeates all levels of societies and cultures, regardless of colour or race. Dealing with domestic violence demands an ongoing long-term and strategic collaboration between educational institutions, communities, families, government agencies and community providers, with a key focus on changing behaviours and deeply entrenched beliefs about power and control.
Without this ‘in it for the long haul’ approach, where it is dealt with across all levels and cultures, we don’t stand a chance in making an impact in dealing with this issue.
Newsflash: Caryn Walsh will be talking about ‘Empowered People, Empowered Lives’ at the annual Stop Domestic Violence Conference in Canberra on December 7.