Government opens public consultation on plan to reduce violence against women and children

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday April 8, 2021

All Australians can have their say on the plan to reduce family, domestic and sexual violence, through an online questionnaire, open until July 31. (Image: Adobe)

The federal government has invited the public to give feedback on its upcoming national plan to reduce family, domestic and sexual violence.

All Australians can have their say on the plan through an online questionnaire, which is open until July 31. Additionally, a National Women’s Safety Summit will be held on July 29 and 30.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday said the summit — which has already drawn criticism from domestic violence advocates — would “further elevate the important national discussion we are having about women’s safety” and would build on the existing national plan.

The government has encouraged women who have experienced violence, family safety advocates, service providers and other stakeholders to take part in the summit, which will offer keynote addresses, panel discussions, workshops, and a series of roundtables.

The roundtables will focus on issues including prevention of violence and sexual violence, online abuse, coercive control, policing and justice systems, respectful relationships, frontline service responses and violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

READ MORE: Australian women are angry, prime minister

Minister for women Marise Payne said consultation was vital to the development of the new plan, which would commence in 2022.

“We want to hear from all parts of the community to make sure the next national plan draws on the best and most wide-ranging ideas. We intend to build a shared framework as we work together to reduce and prevent violence against women and children,” she said.

“Consultation will involve listening to the diverse experiences of people affected by violence, including from regional, rural and remote areas, Indigenous communities, LGBTQIA+ communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and people with disability.”

The government will also hold consultations through virtual workshops and a National Plan Advisory Group, with key stakeholders from each state and territory.

The announcement of the public consultation period and the summit has come after months of increased scrutiny of the treatment of women and a culture of misogyny within parliament, following allegations of misconduct and rape made against government staffers and former attorney-general Christian Porter.

READ MORE: Government tells domestic violence victims to use super to flee from harm


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