Welcome to the Monthly Digest of the Monash Gender and Family Team. We thank you for your on-going interest in our work. To keep up to date with our work follow us on Twitter at @MonashFV
Today is International Women’s Day, which in 2017 promotes a global call to ‘Be Bold for Change’. This is the first edition of the Monthly Digest from the Monash Gender and Family Violence team, in which we aim to stay in contact with colleagues and collaborators working in the field of family violence. 
For us here in Australia, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to call on the Federal Government to show national leadership for the change that is desperately needed to secure the lives of Australian women and children.
One of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first actions when he took office was to announce a $101 million women’s safety package. At the time the Federal Government emphasised their commitment to supporting frontline services, introducing specific measures to address violence in Indigenous communities and enhancing the resources needed to facilitate community education. However, despite early promises to deliver safety to women and children, the government has been largely absent in action on the issue of family violence.
In the 18 months since this announcement the Government has not only failed to deliver on their promised active leadership in this space but have made decisions which serve to worsen the situation for women and children experiencing family violence. Community legal centres, with a critical role in supporting persons seeking justice in family violence cases,  -  are facing a possible $35 million cut in federal funding. To date, the Commonwealth Government has failed to enact reforms to ensure that victims who seek protection from the Federal Family Law do not face cross-examination by their alleged abusers.  
Turnbull’s September 2015 Women’s Safety Package announcement acknowledged that all women have the right to feel safe and live without fear of violence. Yet, as former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty reflected, ‘I’m not sure what happened with the funding that was promised as he [Turnbull] stood beside me’.

It is time for the Federal Government to match their promised leadership on violence against women with the action and resources required for national change in this critical area. In adopting the IWD mantra to ‘be bold for change’ the Federal Government should take immediate steps to:
  • CHANGE current funding priorities and turn around any de-investment in community legal services that are critical points of entry for women and children seeking justice;
  • CHANGE the law to ensure that victims of family violence are better protected within the family law system and do not face cross examination by their alleged abusers?; and 
  • CHANGE the national culture that supports the proliferation of family violence by following the lead of the Victorian state government to develop a national Gender Equality strategy. 
The wellbeing and lives of many Australian women and children are relying on bold change, strong leadership and sustained action at the national level. 
Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Professor JaneMaree Maher, Professor Jude McCulloch and Professor Sandra Walklate 

Download the full text here


The Royal Commission into Family Violence: Today and into the Future 
Monash Gender and Family Violence Public Forum


Dr Heather Nancarrow, CEO, ANROWS, Christine Nixon, APM, Chair Monash College, Former Commissioner of VicPol, Professor Heather Douglas, University of Queensland

 7 April, 10am-12pm, details here

Facing domestic violence against women in Brazil: Advances and challenges 
Thiago Pierobom de Avila 
5 April, 11am-12pm, details here


New research briefs on Intimate terrorism and Family Violence and Homelessness available. 


Research Call: We are currently recruiting for our collaborative study with PWDA focused on the experiences of women with disability. Details here

Employment Opportunity: We are seeking a .5FTE research associate to work on a range of projects in the field of family violence. Details here 
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