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Family violence rise means more resources critical

1 October 2008

Family violence rise means more resources critical: Greens

The increase in family violence reporting revealed in statistics released by the police today is one clear indicator of just how successful the 'It's Not OK' and related campaigns have been, says the Green Party.

"Sadly, the 29 percent increase in family violence over the past year also shows how entrenched the culture of violence is," Green Social Development Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"Directed mainly against women and children, family violence continues to plague our families and communities.

"The Green Party goes into the election committed to doing everything we can to deal with both causes and solutions.

"We support the Domestic Violence Reform Bill tabled this week, but believe it needs to go a lot further.

"The justice system is buckling under the pressure and lack of training and resources is badly affecting women's and children's access to protection and justice.

"The Greens are also gravely concerned by the ongoing shortfall in funding for groups like Women's Refuge.

"Refuge is an absolutely critical link in the chain for women and children fleeing violence. Police and social services agencies depend on Refuge to support family members fleeing violence.

"Yet the 29 percent growth in reported violence has not been matched by an adequate increase in funding.

"Some refuges are becoming increasingly desperate in their bid to support and accommodate women and children adequately. I have heard stories of women being put into backpackers hostels because houses are already totally overcrowded.

"The incoming Government - whatever form it takes - must be prepared to adequately fund not only social marketing campaigns like 'It's Not OK' but also the court system and all necessary support services."

ENDS

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