13 March 2015
YWCA Canberra is asking why primary prevention has been left out of the ACT Government’s latest response to reducing domestic violence.
YWCA Canberra Executive Director Frances Crimmins welcomed the Government’s announcement on Thursday that it would allocate an extra $300,000 for domestic violence prevention. But she questioned why primary prevention programs were not included in the funding announcement.
Ms Crimmins also pointed out the money was not new government funding.
“Let’s be clear, this is not the ACT Government investing new government funds, it’s an allocation from the Confiscated Assets Trust Fund.
“What we see, again, is the ACT Government providing Band-Aid solutions that deal with the impacts of domestic violence, rather than investing actual government money into long-term programs that prevent violence against women,” Ms Crimmins said.
“Further, it’s unclear what the $100,000 handed to Attorney General Simon Corbell’s Domestic Violence Prevention Council will actually be put towards.
“We certainly don’t need more meetings and discussions. We need long-term solutions that focus on prevention,” Ms Crimmins said.
On International Women’s Day, YWCA Canberra launched a campaign, Respect NOW, to raise awareness about the importance of primary prevention. The organisation is seeking $200,000 of funding per year from the ACT Government to deliver the award-winning program, Respect, Communicate, Choose in all public primary schools in the ACT.
“Primary prevention is the only way we can enact a cultural change to build a generation free from violence against women, and currently there are no programs in schools that address this community-wide problem,” Ms Crimmins said.
“Despite proven positive outcomes for young people, Respect, Communicate, Choose has not been funded by federal or state governments since 2013.”
She called again on the ACT Government to respond to the Respect NOW campaign, which has currently attracted over 340 signatures since its launch on Sunday.
Respect, Communicate, Choose is a best-practice primary prevention program that works with young people age 9-12 in primary schools, to build knowledge and skills around respect, gender equality, diversity and being an active bystander.
The Respect NOW campaign includes an online petition that will be presented to Yvette Berry, Minister for Women, and Joy Burch, Minister for Education, at the end of March.
For more information visit www.ywca-canberra.org.au/respectnow.
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Frances Crimmins is available for interview.
Media contact: Karan Gabriel 0429 210 881
About YWCA Canberra: YWCA Canberra is a feminist, not-for-profit community organisation that has been providing community services and representing women’s issues in the Canberra community since its establishment in 1929. YWCA Canberra employs more than 300 staff across the ACT, and delivers 30 quality programs in children’s services, community development, housing, youth services, women’s leadership, advocacy, and training. Represented in 122 countries, the YWCA has a global reach of 25 million women and girls. As part of this international movement, YWCA Canberra works for a world where reconciliation, justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women’s leadership. For more information visit: www.ywca-canberra.org.au
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