In Australia, one woman is killed every nine days by a current or former partner, and one in six women has experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner. Behind these statistics are the stories of the survivors, who can experience serious and long-lasting impacts on their health, wellbeing, education, relationships, and housing outcomes.
A new parliamentary inquiry has been established to shine a light on the scourge of family, domestic, and sexual violence, and to examine how governments and the community can prevent violence against women and their children and better support those most at risk.
The Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, Mr Andrew Wallace MP, said the inquiry will consider a broad range of issues, from prevention and early intervention to the level of coordination across the sector, and will seek to inform the next National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.
'We all have a role in bringing down the unacceptable level of family and domestic violence in Australia. This inquiry is an opportunity to hear evidence from across the community about what measures are working, and about how the efforts to date can be built upon to stop violence and change the attitudes and beliefs that can lead to violence', Mr Wallace said.
'The inquiry is also an important opportunity to examine the ongoing impact of natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic on the prevalence of violence against women and children and on the ability of those at risk to access critical support services', Mr Wallace said.
In carrying out the inquiry, the Committee will aim to consider the experiences of all women, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, rural women, culturally and linguistically diverse women, LGBTQI women, women with a disability, and women on temporary visas. The Committee will also aim to consider all forms of violence against women, including coercive control and technology-facilitated abuse.
The Committee is accepting written submissions addressing one or more of the terms of reference, and invites individuals and organisations to share their view with the Committee. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 24 July 2020. A template is available on the inquiry website to assist individuals to prepare a submission.
The Committee is also seeking expressions of interest from members of the community who wish to make a short statement to the Committee about their experience, in closed session over the telephone.
The Committee intends to hold public hearings at a later stage in the inquiry, and information about any public hearings will be available on the inquiry website.
To obtain more information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, and to find out how to contribute, please visit the inquiry website: www.aph.gov.au/familyviolence.
Please be aware that the Committee is unable to intervene or provide advice in relation to individual circumstances. If you are in immediate danger, please contact 000. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact one of the services below:
1800RESPECT - 1800 737 732
Lifeline - 131 114
MensLine Australia - 1300 789 978
Men's Referral Service - 1300 766 491
Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277
Help is Here - www.australia.gov.au/dvsupport