women's refuges

Last year was the year of women’s truth-telling about sexual and domestic violence. It was also the year that 49 Australian women met violent deaths.

In the second month of this year, there has been no respite from the unceasing onslaught of violence against women and the resulting murders.

To study these deaths is to uncover a blunt, chilling fact: the most dangerous place in Australia for a woman to be — and the most dangerous company for her to be in — is at home with her male intimate partner on a Saturday night.

One in three women is a victim of domestic violence. I am one of those.

The violence did not happen until I was pregnant and, as a result, vulnerable. I did not report it to the police as I was too scared: it was carried out in the privacy of our flat; there was no obvious injury and he was very contrite afterwards.

I vividly remember him buying me breakfast at a cafe the next morning, an unusual event, while I sat too traumatised and depressed to say anything. Before that, I had never suffered a physical assault from anyone.

The NSW Coalition blocked a Greens’ motion in the upper house on August 12 calling for long-term funding for violence prevention and specialist services.

Funding for women’s refuges across NSW has been cut and the services tendered out to charities, including religious ones.

The motion acknowledged that:
· domestic and family violence is the leading cause of death and injury in women under 45;
· this year, violence against women at the hands of someone they were involved with or knew, has claimed the lives of 34 women across Australia;

Former Governor-General Quentin Bryce, who chaired the Special Task force on Domestic and Family Violence, handed the report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on February 28.

The task force was established on September 10 last year by the previous LNP government and charged to deliver its findings by February 28. It included several now-former MPs.

Subscribe to women's refuges