DV groups say funding is needed to back ‘respect’ campaign

In a scene from the federal government’s new $30 million domestic violence advertising campaign, a woman tells a girl who has had a door slammed in her face: “He did it because he likes you.

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The campaign aims to tackle family violence by challenging underlying societal attitudes which may contribute to male aggression towards women.

Domestic Violence NSW’s Moo Baulch said the government’s campaign is welcome, but measures to tackle the problem need to go further.

“I think it’s a first step,” she said. “But I think we also need to be looking at issues around gender inequality and violence-supporting attitudes.”

Ms Baulch said campaigns such as these tend to increase the demand on support services.

“So what we really need to see is the funding and resourcing for those services to be able to meet the demand.”

One-in-six women over the age of 15 has experienced violence from a current or former partner, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, the rates are are even higher. Women with a disability and those from diverse backgrounds are also considered to be at risk.

Greens senator Larissa Waters has urged the government to back up the campaign by restoring a funding cut in previous budgets to community legal services and shelter accommodation for women fleeing domestic violence.

“We need to make sure the services are there so when women do reach out they can get the help that they need and not be turned away,” she said.

The Greens are calling for funding to family violence services to be addressed in the upcoming federal budget.

National Chairperson of the Women’s Services Network (WESNET) Julie Oberin has welcomed the television campaign, calling it a “world first”.

“It’s absolutely vital to address not only violence, but the underlying attitudes which support violence, which many people may not even know they have,” she said.

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If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic family violence, help is available. National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call 000.

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