It was an incredible honour to speak at last night’s public forum in Townsville on protecting women from violence.
We heard how the absence of crisis and transitional accommodation in the region left women faced with a choice between homelessness and violence. We learned of the shockingly small number of breaches of domestic violence orders that result in prosecution. And we were reminded once again of the deep systemic and cultural problems of gender inequality and male entitlement that are the root cause of violence against women.
It was also incredibly inspiring to hear from frontline services. They protect and save the lives of vulnerable and abused women and children every single day, and it is an absolute disgrace that governments do not provide them with adequate funding and support to do this critical work.
In next week’s budget the PM has an opportunity to finally respond to the calls of women and experts by allocating $12 billion over the next 12 years to fulfil the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. He should also implement a national, whole-of-school consent education program to teach young people about gender inequality and respectful relationships. It's long overdue.
Thanks to Mandy Thompson from the North Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Centre, Di Plumb from The Women's Centre Townsville, and Jean Morton from the North Queensland Women's Legal Service for presenting last night. Three amazing women I was proud to share a stage with. ...
THIS --> "And we were reminded once again of the deep systemic and cultural problems of gender inequality and male entitlement that are the root cause of violence against women."
May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month. So much of the language we use to discuss this issue actually distorts the issue. Thank you for having the courage to say the words "male entitlement". Once we start naming the problems we can start fixing them.
I would say this is every regional area sadly
Lack of transitional housing everywhere. And the transitional housing I ended up in was terrifying with a woman clearly recruiting for a syndicate and with gang dynamics in the kitchen and a knife that she showed me. Not an appropriate environment for people escaping life threatening situations. No where to keep real food and food theft and I’m not going to get started with how the social workers treated us.
Whatever was left of my mental health evaporated in my short time there and in trying to be helped by the social worker who was “moved out of crisis care” after it came to light how she was behaving. No toilet paper, no food. Food theft and completely unsanitary mould ridden filthy kitchen. Was like being in the Stanford prison experiment - and it’s not even free. 25% of our 40 bucks a day. Before you try to buy food.
Every actual DV survivor in the house was extremely traumatised being there. We had several quiet conversations about various stories so we weren’t heard because then we might not get helped.
We need *dedicated* SAFE trauma informed environments for women escaping violence. Not mixing in petty criminals trading coffee and TP and getting harsh intro meetings to the house not dissimilar to that scene from OITNB. To be treated like a criminal when so much of the dignity has already been stripped from you. When the actual criminal gets away with anything because “you’re young and pretty and the judges are old men - imagine how you will be treated in court” or “you’re not a priority to the courts there are women sleeping in cars”. There’s actually a step of homelessness way worse than that - when you weren’t even allowed a car as an asset.
I can only speak for Sydney. And I understand I was unlucky with the house I was in. But I can imagine how regional environments are even more challenging.