|This week's Federal Budget provides a stark contrast with recent Victorian budget which committed $1.9 billion dollars to the prevention of family violence: the amount of new funding directed towards family violence federally in this budget comes nowhere near addressing the need. But there is a further injustice and inequity perpetrated here too.
In 2016, in an Age/SMH opinion piece (5 May 2016), we wrote that the disparity between funding to address family violence and to address terrorism reflected a critical paradox in terms of investment and efficacy. The amount of money invested to prevent family violence and that invested to prevent terrorist acts was in inverse proportion to the fatal outcomes: the number of women killed in intimate partner homicides far outstripped those killed in Australia in terrorist events.
The Federal Budget of 2017 repeats this pattern with a focus on national security: the ABC reports that the Australian Federal Police will get an additional $321 million; the Australian reports that ASIO will receive an amount of $75 million. But even without the addition of that amount, the difference is stark.
The scope of the investment in security is different in 2017: the scale of the disparity is not. As existing data reveals, drawing on both the Global Terrorism Index and the AIC homicide monitoring, from the period 2005 - 2015, 520 women were killed by an intimate (ex)partner while six people were killed in terrorist attacks (this figure includes the assailants).
Yet the money we invest in women's security, in addressing their preventable and far too common deaths in family violence, is so much less. In 2017, we can and should do much better. There is a need to address terrorism in our national security plan; this cannot be at the on-going expense of women's everyday security.