Freedom from Fear to create a Safer WA under Liberals

Jan 20, 2021 | Plan, State News

Zak Kirkup and the Liberals will commit $45.5 million to address and prevent family and domestic violence in Western Australia by supporting front-line workers and investing in education, training and research. 

“This comprehensive policy will foster healthy relationships that support flourishing families as part of the Liberals’ plan for a safer, smarter today and a better, brighter tomorrow,” WA Liberal leader Zak Kirkup said. 

“Family and domestic violence has a serious impact on the lives of victims, including children who often witness this violence and suffer ongoing psychological harm. 

“Our plan will address the root causes of family and domestic violence with the aim of stopping the violence before it occurs, strengthening personal protection, and increasing access to support programs, including the establishment of a Domestic Violence Forensic Unit.” 

Shadow Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Nick Goiran said the plan also included $15 million to reinstate the ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign. 

“Many women have said they do not want their partner to leave or to be incarcerated, they just want the violence to stop. They just want freedom from fear,” Mr Goiran said. 

“The ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign promotes understanding and acceptance in the community and particularly amongst men, that the perpetrator is responsible for the violence, not the victim, and there are no circumstances in which domestic violence is justified. 

“When the previous campaign was reviewed, the overwhelming feedback was that ‘Freedom from Fear’ helped increase awareness and shift attitudes surrounding the acceptability of violence as a means of resolving problems. 

“The campaign is still highly relevant and together with a Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline, can assist men in seeking help to change their attitudes and behaviour. 

“The Liberals’ plan also includes enhancing the robustness and efficacy of the Elder Abuse Strategy and implementing the recommendations of the Select Committee into Elder Abuse to protect older people in our community.” 

The Liberals’ plan to address Family and Domestic Violence over the next 5 years includes: 

  • $25 million in increased funding to the Department of Communities.

    To improve data collection, ensure research is comprehensive, evidence based and current, and strengthen training and support for frontline Family and Domestic Violence workers. 

    To ensure WA’s 10 Year Strategies for Reducing Family and Domestic Violence and Responding to Elder Abuse have clearly defined goals, responsibilities and timelines for delivering outcomes. 

    To develop a workforce development, training and accreditation strategy for those working in the Domestic Violence sector, increasing staff knowledge and skills to address risk assessment and management. 
  • $15 million to reinstate the ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign. 

    For assessment, production and pre-testing of television, outdoor, press, magazine and social media advertising, reference cards and posters. 

    To fund additional telephone counsellors for a Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline, ensuring adequate numbers of counsellors are available during the launch and airing of ads.

    To implement regional and metropolitan Perpetrator Programs. 
  • $3 million to establish a Domestic Violence Forensic Unit. 

    To trial and evaluate a specialised Domestic Violence Forensic Unit pilot program with input from relevant Government Departments to assist victims of family and domestic violence. 

    This will include the trial of a 24-hour free and confidential support service to provide an integrated crisis counselling, medical, and forensic response service. 
  • $1 million for personal protection initiatives. 

    To fund tools and raise awareness of measures available to enhance personal protection and combat technology-facilitated stalking. 
  • $1 million for additional training for midwives and child health nurses. 

    To expedite provision of training for midwives, paediatric and child health nurses to improve identification of Family and Domestic Violence and address family violence in maternity and child health care settings. 
  • $500,000 to broaden training and education programs in WA prisons. 

    To identify suitability and accessibility of programs to create an opportunity for individuals to self-identify harmful behaviours which may motivate them to seek counselling, help, skills and strategies. 

    To provide training for prison and probation service personnel.