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Budget 2016: More investment needed to break cycles of violence

The 2016 Budget announcement raises concerns about the Australian Government’s commitment to breaking cycles of violence. Significant investment in family violence services and programs is vital to keeping Australian women and their children safe.

Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon Australia, said: ‘We commend the Australian Government’s commitment to continuing to drive strategies under the Third National Action Plan for 2016-2019. However, last night’s budget released insufficient additional support to address this scourge that affects Australian communities.’

Ms. Davies said: ‘The family violence sector desperately needs adequate funding to support both women and children experiencing violence as well investment in initiatives that work to prevent this violence from happening in the first place, so we can truly end the cycle of violence.’

The importance of primary prevention been identified, yet primary prevention initiatives remain critically underfunded.

White Ribbon Australia runs a national violence prevention campaign and programs in schools and workplaces. Less than 10% of funding for this work comes from government sources, despite evaluations indicating that White Ribbon programs are changing the attitudes and behaviours that results in men’s violence against women.

Ms. Davies said: ‘Prevention needs more funding, but not at the expense of service provision. To truly break cycles of violence we need a commitment from Government to increase funding across the board and invest in established initiatives that are already delivering positive outcomes and demonstrating impact.’

A whole-of-government approach is key to addressing the complexity of men’s violence against women and to realising the extensive social benefits that will accrue from its eradication.

Ms. Davies said: ‘Examining and addressing men’s violence against women across portfolios is key to creating long-term social change and will ultimately lead to cost savings for governments. Unfortunately, the funding structure for family violence initiatives in the 2016 Budget has not taken this approach. Together with a considerable funding shortfall, this budget is disappointing.’

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ABOUT WHITE RIBBON

White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women and girls, promote gender equality, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

The Vision of White Ribbon Australia (White Ribbon), as part of this global movement, if for a nation that respects women, in which every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse. The purpose is engaging men to make women’s safety a man’s issue too.

White Ribbon works through a primary prevention approach understanding that men are central to achieving the social change necessary to prevent men’s violence against women. We engage men to stand up, speak out and act to influence the actions of some men and demand change.

White Ribbon is dedicated to ensuring men are active advocates for changing the social norms, attitudes and behaviours that are at the root of men’s abuse of women. Through education, awareness-raising and marketing campaigns, partnerships and preventative programs that are independently evaluated, based on best practice and shown to be effective, we are highlighting the positive role men play in preventing men’s violence against women and enabling them to be part of this social change.

For media interviews contact Sally Burleigh: Sally@sbpr.com.au and 0419 516 889

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