Senator Ruston pressed her state colleagues to agree to more joint funding for advertising to promote gender equality and changes in community attitudes.
“Domestic violence must be addressed from two directions – response and prevention – otherwise this horrific blight on society will never end,” she said after the meeting.
For their part, state governments, including NSW and Victoria, pushed the federal government for more funding for frontline services for victims of domestic violence, including legal and homelessness help.
“We are absolutely committed to working together to make sure our resources are being delivered to the areas of highest need,” Senator Ruston said.
The Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) and women’s rights campaigners Fair Agenda said the safety of Australian women and children would dramatically improve “within weeks” if federal and state governments provided more funding for frontline services such as perpetrator intervention programs and more training for doctors, police and lawyers to identify women at immediate risk of violence.
According to Our Watch, on average, one woman a week is murdered by a current or former partner. One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15 and one in five women has experienced sexual violence.
If you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Support is also available at Lifeline on 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
Judith Ireland is a political reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based at Parliament House