Baillieu Drops Ball On Family Violence

Baillieu Government dithering is putting vulnerable families in Knox and Yarra Ranges at risk, Member for Monbulk,  James Merlino said today.

Crime statistics released by Victoria Police this week show family violence accounted for 30 per cent of all assaults in Victoria and a 14.6 percent increase in reports of family violence.

Mr Merlino said despite the concerning figures, the Baillieu Government had no plan to tackle family violence and had allocated no new money for specific family violence programs in the State Budget.

“Violence against women and children in the home can and must stop,” Mr Merlino said.

“The Baillieu Government talks tough on crime prevention, yet the Minister for Crime Prevention, Andrew McIntosh, recently said family violence was the responsibility of the Minister for Women’s Affairs – not him. “

“This is a gross abdication of responsibility by the Baillieu Government.

“The Premier and his Attorney General need to understand that women are not responsible for family violence, making a strong stand against it is the responsibility of the entire community.”

“Clearly, Mr McIntosh is happy to handball the issue to a junior minister and does not believe family violence is a top priority for him or the Baillieu Government.

In contrast, Mr Merlino said Labor in Government had invested $175 million in family violence reform that had supported an increase in the number of women reporting family violence to police.

“Thanks to our investment in community education programs, women are now more likely to report family violence crimes to police,” he said.

“But anecdotal evidence of an increase in the incidence of family violence due to uncertain economic times is disturbing.

“This comes at a time when the Baillieu Government is refusing to support proven anti-family violence programs.

“Mr McIntosh will not fund the roll out of the BSafe program through regional and rural Victoria – despite Mr McIntosh personally presenting the program with a crime prevention award.

“It just proves that when vulnerable women and children need help the most, the Baillieu Government is all talk and no action.”

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