CANBERRA, Nov 25: The Australian government on Tuesday announced it will establish a new Domestic Violence Commission to help end violence against women and children.
With A$22.4 million ($16 million) in funding over five years, the Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission will be tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives to prevent violence and developing policy to address violence against women.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), one in six women have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner.
The Commission was announced shortly before the Opposition Labor Party was set to announce its plan to appoint a commissioner to coordinate domestic and sexual violence prevention if it wins the next election.
The government’s commission forms part of its new national plan to reduce family, domestic and sexual violence, which will come into effect in 2022.
“The next National Plan will be an ambitious blueprint to end violence against women and children, but it must be more than words,” Minister for Women Marise Payne said in a statement.
“The new Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission will have responsibility for monitoring and reporting on accountability and evaluation frameworks against the next National Plan to ensure it delivers real and tangible actions that prevent violence, intervene early and better support victim-survivors.”
Under Labor’s plan, A$153.4 million will be spent over the next four years on 500 workers to support women in crisis, half of whom would be based in rural and regional Australia.
Labor’s family, domestic and sexual violence commissioner would report annually on the progress of stopping violence.