EDITORIAL: Tougher, faster action is needed for acts of violence

The Nightly
3 Min Read
EDITORIAL: Emulating successful campaigns on drink-driving or smoking can help tackle violence against women.
EDITORIAL: Emulating successful campaigns on drink-driving or smoking can help tackle violence against women. Credit: meeboonstudio - stock.adobe.com

The epidemic of violence against women constitutes a national crisis.

But there is at least one thing that can provide some hope.

It is that at all levels of society, there is agreement it is a crisis we must tackle and one in which we must succeed.

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There have been many words written and spoken about that need.

And many proposals have been floated.

Among them are calls for more funding for support services. For education. For law reform. For greater police focus. And there are many, many more ideas that can be implemented to make a difference.

On Friday the NSW Government revealed it would announce an emergency package “within days”, after holding an emergency cabinet meeting.

NSW Deputy Premier Prue Car said the meeting heard from experts and people with lived experience of domestic, family, and intimate partner violence.

“We heard very clearly from today, that investment must be in the frontline and crisis response services, but the primary prevention and the early intervention does need more attention because we need to drive the cultural change that stops this from happening,” Ms Car said.

She said the Government would look at medium and long-term actions to “invest in and drive . . . cultural change to stop women from dying”; and reiterated that “absolutely everything is on the table”.

NSW Minister for Youth Rose Jackson said it was time for the Government to take the burden of ensuring women’s safety off women’s shoulders; and called for men to take some of that burden.

“We’re here standing shoulder to shoulder with women and stepping forward and taking responsibility for our roles,” she said.

“But young men, boys, this is a time for you to show how much you care about the women in your life and be that change, amongst you and your mates, to show enough is enough.”

In another development, the nation’s Domestic, Family, and Sexual Violence Commissioner urged tougher and quicker consequences for domestic violence perpetrators — and for everyone in Australia to know what they are.

Micaela Cronin wants to see successful campaigns on drink-driving or smoking emulated to end violence.

Ms Cronin says this is on the table after a National Cabinet meeting on Wednesday agreed to a rapid review of prevention efforts among other measures.

Any campaign should be predicated on there being stronger police and legal responses and consequences for perpetrators, especially for breaches of restraining orders.

“If a bloke tests it and discovers that there aren’t going to be consequences, then what happens is that often there are multiple breaches and it can escalate to very serious violence,” Ms Cronin told The West Australian.

“Absolutely there needs to be significant lifting in terms of what consequences are, because, I mean, we see the number of breaches of intervention orders that don’t get the kinds of consequences that they should.”

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