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Federal Election: Be cautious of headlines:

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Federal Election: Be cautious of headlines

Our message to candidates, parties and voters is to provide – and seek out – the detail beyond the headlines.

Move beyond the headlines and announceables

When candidates and parties make grand statements of new initiatives we want – and need – the  details.

Recently budget announcements saw significant investment for women’s security, but the impact this will have on frontline service delivery agencies whose existing funding in parts will be redirected to service this announcement was not discussed.

Why? Well, it’s not entirely clear the real impact, but if this is just a redirection of money instead of an enhancement alongside existing services, we certainly know it won’t deliver the same level of jurisdictionally nuanced service in our local community.

We want to be engaged and we want our frontline service delivery expertise valued: we know what is working, what isn’t and how can we work together to respond to violence in our community to ensure better outcomes for those experiencing violence.

So to candidates and parties: work with us, don’t just work the headlines.

When preventing and responding to domestic, family and sexual violence in our community the detail matters. Evidenced based, best practice initiatives should be prioritised. This may not sound catchy or attractive to voters but we must do our very best to ensure we are working ethically and with an evidence base to end violence in all its forms in our community. Listen to those directly impacted, listen to the survivors, listen to the evidence base, the frontline workers, the academics and take advice.

No one candidate, no one party can end violence in Australia but you can use your public platform to be part of the solution.

Look for the detail and listen to the frontline

It’s easy as a voter to believe what people with public profile say, particularly when said with conviction. We must all take our role as voters in our democracy seriously. Look for the detail in the policies being announced and ask questions of your local members and candidates. Questions can include:

  • What does this actually mean?
  • How will this enhance the services which already exist?
  • What does this do for our community?

We all have a role to play in ending violence in our community and we can demonstrate that in how we vote.

Look to see what candidates and parties are focussing on ending violence in our community. Focussing on gender equity, inclusive communities including how they respond to the needs of the disability community, migrant and refugee communities, the ageing population, LGBTIQA+ communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and women are all part of responding to some of the underlying attitudes of what drives gendered violence.

Don’t be afraid to press your candidates on these issues as they make their way through the community. If they’re serious about their commitment to ending family violence in our society, they’ll have thought of these issues – or at the very least, be open to learning more.

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