The Labor government has broken its promise on domestic violence, delivering just half the police officers promised to a specialised unit, state opposition leader Barry O’Farrell says. Only 23 of the 40 additional specially-trained police officers promised to the Family and Domestic Violence Unit in Labor’s 2007 election policy have been assigned, Mr O’Farrell said in a statement on Friday. “This is another tragic example of the Keneally Labor government making the grand announcement but failing to follow through,” Mr O’Farrell said. There were 25,694 domestic violence-related assaults in 2009, an average of 71 a day, Mr O’Farrell said. “To make matters worse, two years ago, Labor axed 24 experienced domestic violence case-workers in the Department of Community Services,” he said.”It is simply unacceptable for the Keneally Labor government to walk away from this commitment. “The incompetent Keneally Labor government has let down the victims of domestic violence, who deserve to be treated with care and sensitivity.”
Posts Tagged ‘Domestic Violence’
Laila Azzeh; 1/4/10
HRH Princess Basma, the honorary president of the Arab Women Media Centre (AWMC), on Wednesday stressed that women have value as human beings equal to that of men, and violence against women deprives them of this value. During a ceremony marking Arab Media Women’s Day, Princess Basma underlined that everyone has the right to enjoy mental and spiritual as well as physical health, noting that a woman’s mental health helps create appropriate living conditions to enhance the well-being of her family. Underscoring that violence against women is widespread all over the world, she noted that psychological violence, though it remains difficult to address, is an act of humiliation and degradation that impacts not only women but entire families.
Lex Hall ; 16/2/10
An Aboriginal legal aid group has slammed anti-pornography measures in remote communities, telling a Senate inquiry that provisions of the NT intervention portray indigenous men as pedophiles. Vernon Patullo of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency said there had been no increase in the number of people in communities being prosecuted for possessing pornography since signs announcing a pornography ban were erected as part of the 2007 federal intervention. Speaking at a Senate inquiry into welfare reforms, Mr Patullo, an East Arnhem Land elder, said the pornography ban was a “beat-up and had no substance at all”.
Natasha Robinson; 6/2/10
Aboriginal children in care are routinely being placed with relatives in remote communities where they are exposed to sexual abuse and alcohol-fuelled violence, a wide-ranging report on child protection – kept hidden by the Northern Territory government – has revealed. The Bath report – compiled after an audit of scores of cases of children deemed at high risk who were in the care of the state – exposes the near-total breakdown of child protection systems in the Territory, where background checks on carers are rarely carried out, ministers regularly fail to review the progress of cases, and social services for troubled families are in critically short supply. Howard Bath, who was appointed Children’s Commissioner in the Territory after compiling the extensive report, documents case after case where children were failed by the system that was supposed to protect them
Caroline Overington; 30/1/10
A report on family law recommends a change to the legal definition of violence to encompass behaviour that is “economically abusive”, threatening or coercive. The report, by the Family Law Council, says changes made to the Family Law Act (1975) by the Howard government narrowed the definition of violence and was “conservative in its drafting”. The review was one of three reports released this week on family law, one of which warned that women and children were at a greater risk of violence. The Family Law Council report said the definition of violence in the act was in “some ways reminiscent of the common law definition of assault”. “It is questionable whether it encompasses the debilitating psychological abuse by controlling conduct,” the report says.
Caroline Overington; 29/1/10
A report commissioned by the Rudd government recommends major changes to the controversial shared parenting law introduced by former prime minister John Howard, saying it has put women and children at risk. The report by retired Family Court judge Richard Chisholm says the law has also set fathers up to believe they are entitled to a 50-50 time split with their children after divorce, when this was never the parliament’s intention, nor part of the law. The report into family law was ordered by Attorney-General Robert McClelland, in response to the shocking death of four-year-old Melbourne girl Darcey Freeman, who was thrown to her death from the West Gate Bridge one year ago. Her father, Arthur Freeman, is now facing a murder charge. In launching the report yesterday, Mr McClelland said it was “motivated at least in part by the very tragic events, in the case of Darcey Freeman”. It has previously been reported that Darcey’s mother was too frightened to raise allegations of violence in the Family Court, lest she be considered an “unfriendly” parent determined to interrupt the relationship between the children and their father.
Lex Hall; 7/1/10
Northern Territory police say it will take years before the full extent of child abuse in remote communities is known, as new crime figures reveal a spike in assaults in the isolated settlements. There were 1632 assaults in regional and remote communities in the 12 months to September, a 38 per cent increase on the previous year. However, the number of sex attacks over the same period has decreased by 32 per cent, according to quarterly crime statistics released yesterday. Assistant Commissioner Grahame Kelly attributed the spike in assaults to a greater police presence following the introduction of key measures, such as the Violent Crime Reduction Strategy in 2005 and the NT Emergency Response in 2007.
Dan Harrison; 26/11/09
Almost all Australians now acknowledge that domestic violence is a crime, but a quarter of the nation believe women make false claims about being raped, and one in five think violence is OK if the perpetrator later regrets their actions. The findings come from a survey of more than 10,000 Australians commissioned by the Federal Government and released yesterday by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to mark White Ribbon Day. The proportion of respondents that acknowledged domestic violence was a crime was 98 per cent, up 5 percentage points from when such a survey was last taken, in 1995. The proportion of people who believe that victims of sexual assault ”ask for it” dropped from one in seven in 1995 to one in 20 today. Mr Rudd said he was pleased to see ”a significant shift in the attitudes and beliefs Australians hold” about domestic violence
Adele Horin ; 25/11/09
In the Jewish religion the family is sacred, and ”peace in the home” an abiding value. So when rabbis were asked to speak out to their communities about domestic violence, the initial response from some was that it was unnecessary to do so. ”People just said ‘It doesn’t happen in the Jewish community’,” said Roberta Freedman, of the welfare agency JewishCare. But starting today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 16 rabbis from 16 synagogues will take part in a 16-day campaign to educate their communities about domestic violence. They will speak from the bimah, or pulpit, in the synagogue to counter the culture of denial in their communities, and to direct people to help. Ms Freedman, manager of family and children’s services, said the rate of violence against Jewish women was probably no different from the rest of the community but US research indicated that due to family and community pressures Jewish women took seven to 10 years longer than average to leave an abusive relationship.
Paul Austin; 24/11/09
Jen’s friends used to think she had it all. She drove a Mercedes, lived in a big house and sent the children to a private school. But Jen had a second, secret life. She was a victim of domestic violence. Over a 10-year marriage, her husband controlled her money, her choice of friends and eventually her mind. At dinner parties he would humiliate her. At home, if she disagreed with him long enough about anything, he would intimidate her. ”In the end, I stopped disagreeing,” Jen says. In the end, she wore hand-me-down clothes and owned just one bra. She used to lie to her friends by saying she was frugal. In truth, she was too frightened to go shopping.
Trevor Duke; 24/11/09
If you were to board a plane at 7 o’clock tomorrow morning from any east coast capital city in Australia, by just after midday you could be in a country where death rates for children are 10-15 times higher than for Australian children. In East Timor, for every 1000 children born, 97 will die before their fifth birthday. In Papua New Guinea, 57 of every 1000 children born will die before they turn one, and a further 18 by age five. In Australia, less than five children out of every thousand born die before their fifth birthday. This situation, 20 years since the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in these days of globalisation, freedom of travel and co-operation between countries on so many things, can’t be allowed to continue.
26/9/09; (2 Items)
A group of Saudi women have launched a campaign to prevent family violence and protect women’s rights based on Shariah. Rima Ibrahim, a Saudi writer and supervisor of the campaign, said the move was aimed at improving the situation of Saudi women. “First of all it’s a reformatory campaign which wants to turn public attention to vital women’s issues,” she added. The campaigners called for the establishment of an office for the reconciliation of family members and ensure care and protection for women abandoned by their husbands. They also demanded the right of abandoned women to payment of expenses.
A Malaysian man who raped his wife has been sentenced to the maximum five years’ jail, in what the New Straits Times reported may be the first successful prosecution under a 2007 law that makes it illegal for a husband to cause “fear of death or hurt to his wife … to have sexual intercourse”. “We hope this will inspire other wives who suffer in silence to come out and seek justice for themselves,” Judge Hassan Abdul Ghani was quoted by the Times as saying.
Joshua Asrlo; 18/6/09
A housewide and mother of four who admitted to killing her abusive husband, a Correctional Service (CS) officer nearly two years ago, is awaiting a pre-sentence report on her matter. The pre-sentence report was to be made yesterday at the National Court in Waigani, however since her defence lawyer was leaving the firm he worked for and was not able to continue taking carriage of the matter, her case was brought forward to Tuesday for directions. The 37-year-old housewife, Yarambo Kuleko Liwa, from Southern Highlands, killed her allegedly busive husband of nearly 17 years, who was a warder at the Bomana prison. They had four children; two boys and two girls; the oldest now aged 18 and lived at Bomana CS premises until the death of the man.
A Saudi judge told a conference on domestic violence that a man has the right to slap his wife if she spends lavishly on such things as clothing, a Saudi newspaper reported, drawing criticism from rights activists in the conservative kingdom. The remarks by the judge do not carry the weight of law, as they were made out of court. But such public pronouncements by Saudi judges – who are also Islamic clerics – are often widely respected. Those campaigning for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia said the comments were another setback in efforts to gain the right to vote, drive and freely participate in politics.”If a person gives 1,200 Saudi riyals ($320) to his wife and she spends 900 riyals ($240) to purchase an abaya (head-to-toe robe) from a brand shop and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment,” Judge Hamad Al-Razine was quoted as saying.
Selma Milovanovic; 4/5/09
A national campaign against family violence has called for urgent changes to the Family Law Act to protect children from violence by fathers during court-imposed access visits. In 2006, to emphasise shared parenting, the act was amended to balance the need to protect a child from violence with the child’s benefit of having a meaningful relationship with both parents. But some experts say the two principles are contradictory in cases of family violence. At a Melbourne rally of Mayday! Safer Family Law Campaign yesterday, family lawyer Sarah Vessali said court practitioners who were out of touch with issues of family violence needed to be better educated in protecting children from harm.