Family and domestic violence sector thanked as 16 Days in WA campaign ends

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk has thanked family and domestic violence services for the work they do to keep women and children safe all year round as the State Government’s annual 16 Days in WA campaign draws to a close.

The Minister today attended a special function hosted by the Hon. Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia, at Government House, marking the end of this year’s 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign.

The morning tea was organised to acknowledge the efforts of the family and domestic violence sector and its workers, particularly as they head into the busy Christmas and New Year period, which is unfortunately associated with an annual spike in family and domestic violence-related police call-outs.

This year’s campaign included a number of significant announcements that deliver on key McGowan Government projects and election commitments.

Expanded women’s refuges were officially opened in Kwinana and Peel, with accommodation capacity doubled at both facilities, further increasing the available support for women and children fleeing family and domestic violence.

The Kimberley region was confirmed as the fourth WA location for the establishment of a one-stop family and domestic violence hub, which will provide a range of specialist services and linked community supports in a single location to prioritise the ease of access for victims who are seeking help and support.

The Minister announced new grants for sector-led initiatives during 16 Days in WA that will help support survivors of family and domestic violence.

RSPCA WA received a $1 million boost to extend the popular Pets in Crisis program, which offers a temporary home for animals from households experiencing family and domestic violence, making it easier for pet owners to seek refuge or temporary accommodation of their own, into Bunbury, Busselton and Albany.

Bridges, buildings and beacons across the State were lit up in the campaign’s official theme colour of orange for 16 days as part of the Landmarks Alight initiative. Prominent landmarks such as Matagarup Bridge, Fremantle Prison and Optus Stadium joined the sea of orange to raise public awareness and prompt conversations about family and domestic violence.

Hundreds of government agencies, businesses and community groups across the State have engaged with the campaign by sharing messages on social media, hosting morning teas and getting involved in public conversations aimed at challenging negative behaviours linked to gender-based violence.

16 Days in WA runs from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) through to today (Human Rights Day) each year. The campaign takes its inspiration from the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

Further information on the 16 Days in WA campaign can be found online.

“Western Australia has an issue with family and domestic violence, and we all have a responsibility to help stop this scourge.

“One in three Australians believe that if a woman doesn’t leave her abusive partner, then she is responsible for the violence continuing. These are the kinds of attitudes that must change.

“The 16 Days in WA campaign continues to raise public awareness and encourages Western Australians to take a stand against gender-based violence, and help stop violence before it begins.

“I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the many dedicated staff and workers within the family and domestic violence sector who support women and children in need.

“With the campaign ending today and the festive season upon us, I urge people to remember that respectful relationships and violence-free spaces are important all year round.

“Violence against women is never acceptable and it needs to be called out in all its forms. Don’t be silent when you see violence.” said Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Simone McGurk.

 

Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline – 1800 007 339

Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline – 1800 000 599

1800 RESPECT is a national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.