New approaches to addressing family violence are needed if governments, community and corporate Australia are serious about ending violence against women, says Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is a community services organisation for women. In its submission to the recent Commonwealth Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence, the organisation made a series of important recommendations, including acknowledging the role gendered disadvantage plays in driving family, domestic and sexual violence against women.
Good Shepherd is also urging the introduction of mandatory responses from the financial services sector to recognise financial abuse as a form of gendered violence against women. The recommendation would also compel the sector to strengthen its role in supporting women to address and resolve issues caused by economic abuse.
Good Shepherd's chief executive Stella Avramopoulos said securing women’s financial security was a critical aspect of achieving gender equality and would significantly contribute to the prevention of violence against women and their children.
“Gender inequality is a key driver of violence against women and their children. Our frontline staff work with women every day who are impacted by violence and through this work we have a unique understanding of the role financial security and independence can play in the prevention of violence,” Ms Avramopoulos said.
She said the inquiry was an opportunity to rethink reform.
“We cannot afford to drop the ball on this again and we must begin to link the devastating impact of economic abuse and gender inequality with violence against women. Only then can we develop sustainable, meaningful and long-term solutions for women and their children and end the scourge of family violence.”
Economic abuse must be recognised as a driver of family violence (Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand)