Public service minister Michaelia Cash: Her Employment Department has rejected a pay offer for a second time. Photo: Andrew Meares
The Prime Minister's announcement of a $100 million funding commitment for domestic violence was welcomed on Thursday morning, understandably, with a sigh of relief.
A big, important shift that the government is acknowledging and promoting that the root cause of domestic violence is gender inequality.— Judith Ireland (@CanberraCamper) September 23, 2015
Finally we were able to hear the nation's leader speak with force on the issue, and with Rosie Batty by his side, to acknowledge that yes: domestic violence is about gender.
"Let me say this to you: disrespecting women does not always result in violence against women," he said. "But all violence against women begins with disrespecting women."
Finally, a significant and immediate funding commitment to back up those words.
But is it, really? And, importantly, is the money actually going to where it's most needed?
Of course, Turnbull's $100 million commitment will go some way towards redressing the cuts imposed by his predecessor. But while many commentators were lauding the new PM for making domestic violence his first priority - and for finally outing the elephant in the room - others were busy reading the finer print.
And it throws up more than a few questions about what's been left out. Or one big question, really: Where is the funding for frontline services?
huglely disappointed by breakdown of where the $100m for DV is going. almost no funding for proven frontline services pic.twitter.com/4tAUu8kAcK— spring enjoyer (@marrowing) September 24, 2015
Turnbulls DV announcement doesn't go far enough in addressing the crises that exists right now. Nowhere near far enough.— ThatKooriWoman (@TheKooriWoman) September 24, 2015
Domestic violence package a good first step but housing and legal service funding shortfalls remain http://t.co/haP4wbLS0S— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) September 24, 2015
@TheKooriWoman Watch how he fails to say "I reverse ALL the cuts we previously made to DV services immediately & promise this money on TOP!"— Dame MeatLoaf (@lovethatloaf) September 24, 2015
None of the 100mil to be spent on emergency housing/accommodation, but 36.5 mil to police who should already be trained in DV.— ThatKooriWoman (@TheKooriWoman) September 24, 2015
lol, money for cctvs at family homes and panic buttons. I'm sorry for lol, but have these ppl ever dealt with a very violent person?— ThatKooriWoman (@TheKooriWoman) September 24, 2015
The focus of today's announcement seems to be on long-term prevention through education and cultural change. And that is an important goal. But it must be understood, such goals are very long term. They're not helping the women (or their children) who are at risk of being murdered today.
The women and children at risk today need a safe roof over their heads, and they need legal aid to help them stop the men who are trying to hurt them. It seems a no-brainer to make funding women's refuges and community legal centres an absolute priority. Yet again, these vital services have been left out of the funding picture. Why?
In their place, the government is experimenting - trialling 'safe' technology, panic buttons and CCTV in family homes.
The people who have been working in frontline services for decades know what works. Trialling new technological solutions is a great idea - but it shouldn't come at the expense of funding those services that have proven effective in saving lives and without which, women have been left on the street to die.