MEDIA RELEASE Friday, March 8, 2019: On International Women’s Day, we honour women’s strength and resilience and celebrate how far we have come. However, alarming crime statistics released this week indicate we have a long way to go when it comes to addressing violence against women in this region.

According to Bureau of Crime Statistics (BOSCAR) figures, there has been a staggering 24.6% increase in domestic assault incidents in 2018 compared to 2017 in the Lismore area.

Lismore Greens candidate Sue Higginson, said, “This is a hard truth that we cannot ignore – especially today.”

“The incidents of domestic violence in the Lismore area is 29% higher than the state average. We know that crisis response services are unable to meet demand in this area.

“In this country, domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness. Our region’s rising levels of domestic violence coupled with the current housing crisis is a recipe for disaster. It is a regional emergency that I will prioritise if elected.

“One woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or former partner. Yet violence against women is preventable, and gender equality is the core of the solution, along with funding our vital frontline services,” she said.

Today, The Greens announced their policy initiative to end violence against women and eliminate gender inequality. The Greens plan will provide:

• A broad program for gender equality. Primary prevention to challenge the deeply ingrained attitudes, social norms and gender inequalities that give rise to men’s violence against women.

• A holistic whole-of-government approach to tackling family violence. Implement all 49 ‘Safe State’ recommendations of the NSW Women’s Alliance

• Immediate and ongoing support for those experiencing violence. Provide an additional $30 million per year for specialist women’s legal services and Community Legal Centres. Double federal funding to $500m/year and double NSW’s commitment to match it.

• Specialist services for women from different backgrounds. Provide $310 million over four years for specialist domestic and family violence services – including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and CALD women and children, LGBTIQ people and children, and women and children with disability – and state-wide crisis services.

Greens make pledge to put an end to DV crisis

The Greens are serious about pushing legislative changes in parliament to improve the lives of women in NSW and to put an end to the domestic violence crisis

Before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November 2019, the Greens pledge to do the following:

  1. Reintroduce a bill to decriminalise abortion by removing Division 12 of the NSW Crimes Act 1900.
  2. Introduce a bill to amend the definition of consent in section 61HA of the Crimes Act to require active, affirmative and ongoing sexual consent.
  3. Put a motion calling on the NSW government to join Our Watch to support the evidence-based framework driving nationwide change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to family violence.
  4. Introduce a bill to repeal the forced adoption laws introduced by the Berejiklian government at the end of 2018.
  5. Move to establish a Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Committee to oversee the implementation of the NSW Women’s Alliance’s Safe State recommendations.

Ms Higginson said, “The Greens know that the best way to stop violence is before it occurs, so our policy initiative includes a broad program for gender equality.

“Gender equality should involve everyone. It should mean more women in Parliament. It should be addressed across business, civil society and communities, which is why local community events such as today’s Rally for IWD at The Quad in Lismore, are so important,” Ms Higginsons said.

This local rally is a time for all those fighting for women’s rights to come together to celebrate our victories, to agitate for changes in the spheres of political and legal rights; equal opportunities; sexual autonomy; and the right to self-determination; and to gain inspiration from our sisters all over the world who gather on this day advocating for the rights of women.

Join me at The Lismore Women’s Rally for IWD from midday to 2pm at The Quad.

View The Greens full policy initiative here

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