16 Days Against Violence Campaign Day 16

National Plan report back needed to monitor progress against family violence

Today is Human Rights Day and the final day of the 16 Days of Action to end violence against women and children. Family violence is not only a violation of human rights, it also has far reaching consequences on families and communities.

In 2009 the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (NCRVWC) estimated that violence against women and their children, including both domestic and non-domestic violence, cost the Australian economy $13.6 billion.

CEO Jocelyn Bignold said: “Every day we see women with or without children entering our family violence and homelessness services. Last year we supported 1,000 women and children through our services, a far higher number than in previous years.”

“Family violence isn’t a secret any more. Rosie Batty and the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence have ensured that. Changes in Canberra do promise some relief and a way through political gridlock," she said. 

Ms Bignold also believes a National Plan, (similar to the smoking and road safety campaigns) needs to regularly report back to the general community so that we know what has happened and how effective its been.

“We want the government to report back formally on actions they have taken during the year to reduce violence against women and their children,” CEO Jocelyn Bignold said.

She believes an annual report would monitor changing social attitudes to reduce family violence over time.

“It would also be an effective way of monitoring what services are working or not, and why.”

Over the last year McAuley Community Services for Women has engaged with politicians, businesses, philanthropists, the media, schools, and the community, educating them about our work and about the link between family violence and homelessness.

“I hope that our 16 days campaign has shown you the spread of concerns that we have and what we are doing to support those who seek our services,” said Ms Bignold.

“Each woman, each child, who we work with is more than a statistic. Each person’s story is one of resilience in the face of danger.”

“Together we can #UniteandChange.”