Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams has been forced to admit today that Labor’s harsh lockdowns have “magnified” Victoria’s family violence crisis.
It was in response to questioning in parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC), after shocking increases during the COVID-19 pandemic and the extended periods of enforced lockdown.
It was a horror year for women and children suffering violence in the family home.
Last year there were more calls to family violence support lines for women and children, more family violence intervention order breaches and more family violence-related crime against property and against the person.
But at the same time, fewer people completed violence-related programs for family violence offenders in community corrections and fewer men completed Men’s Behavioural Change Programs.
And women and children seeking housing support to leave a violent relationship have been abandoned by the Labor Government, despite damning recommendations by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Skyrocketing demand for crisis and emergency housing during the COVID crisis hasn’t been met, with the average wait time for public housing blowing out to 11 months.
Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Emma Kealy
Labor’s lockdowns that left women and children locked up with the perpetrators they are desperately trying to escape.
The Government’s own budget papers even attribute the increase in family violence-related crime as “due to people being contained in the home under the Chief Health Officer’s Directions” (Budget Paper 3, p286).