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Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand welcomes the release of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 and commends its focus on addressing financial abuse and housing instability in ending violence against women.

Good Shepherd CEO, Stella Avramopoulos, said that the National Plan’s commitment to end violence in one generation was zealous, and that was what was needed to ensure women and children are safe, well, strong and connected.

“Family and domestic violence is a national crisis, that requires an audacious response across the entire sector including prevention, early intervention, response, recovery, and healing, in partnership with business,” Ms. Avramopoulos said.

“As a family violence services provider, we are acutely aware of the dangers to women who do not have enough money or financial support and cannot access secure housing to enable them to escape and recover from family violence.

“90% of Good Shepherd’s financial services practitioners are seeing an increase in economic abuse during the pandemic, the effects of which we know, will compound in the years ahead.

The National Plan’s focus on housing as a structural barrier to achieving change is another important step in ending family violence.

Good Shepherd practitioners report that affordable, sustainable housing is one of the main barriers to client survival and recovery, with 34% of Good Shepherd clients receiving family violence case management at risk of homelessness during 2020-2021.

“It is encouraging to see the focus on a holistic response to improving housing outcomes for women and children experiencing violence, and providing access to safe, affordable and accessible housing, to prevent violence and enable long-term recovery,” added Ms Avramopoulos.

Good Shepherd also strongly supports a dedicated First Nations women’s plan, led by First Nations women, communities, and services, grounded in principles of self-determination and community control.

“Alongside the implementation of the National Plan, it important that we build a supportive, trauma-informed social security system that ensures women and families have sufficient resources to remain separated from abusive partners and supports their recovery.

“It is equally important that there are clear and consistent targets for the Plan so we can measure its impact and stay on track to end violence in one generation.”

We look forward to working with the Government to help implement recommendations from the report, and ensure we remain focused on ending violence against women and children.

ENDS

Media contact:

James Lye, General Manager, Marketing and Communications

M 0439 301 296