DOMESTIC violence services are in desperate need of more support, says Greens candidate for North Metropolitan Alison Xamon.
Ms Xamon, a former State MP, called on the State Government to invest more in domestic violence services after marching on White Ribbon Day last Friday.
“Domestic violence is a complex issue and requires a multifaceted approach to the problem,” she said.
“We need better resourcing for domestic violence support services such as temporary shelters and legal support agencies like the Women’s Law Centre.
“Domestic violence can affect women from all walks of life but in addition can too often be associated with other issues such as substance abuse and mental health issues. Not only do we need better funding for shelters for victims of family and domestic violence but these shelters need the resources and skills to be able to deal with co-existing substance abuse problems or mental health issues.
“Currently a lack of resourcing means staff are often unable to deal with those who for assistance may also be suffering from alcohol and other drug dependency.”
A spokesman for the Department for Child Protection and Family Support said the Government “remains committed to addressing family and domestic violence” with a “whole of government, whole of community approach”.
“Between 2008-09 and 2016-17, funding for family and domestic violence services in Western Australia increased from $21 million to $41.484 million per annum,” he said.
“The State Government recently launched ‘Freedom from Fear, Working Towards the Elimination of Family and Domestic Violence in Western Australia’, which aims to increase safety for women and children experiencing violence, including targeting perpetrators to change their behaviour.
“It provides a framework of actions that aim to strengthen a whole-of-government and community sector response.”
Some of the programs in the framework are now underway, including the Youth Say No campaign, minimum standards for men’s behaviour change programs, and the Safer Families, Safer Communities: Kimberley Family Violence Regional Plan.
Ms Xamon said specialist services for children who are exposed to family and domestic violence are needed.
“The trauma children experience can be lifelong and without supports children can themselves go on to become trapped in a cycle of abuse and violence,” she said.
If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
The Women’s (9223 1188 or 1800 007 339) and Men’s (9223 1199 or 1800 000 599) Domestic Violence Helplines operate 24 hours a day seven days a week and can provide information, support and counselling.