Domestic violence is a global issue which is not only affecting the national boundaries but having an impact on the different aspects of cultural, social-economic, racial and class distinctions (Sarabu, 2016). Although men do experience violence the most affected gender with this cruel activity of domestic violence is women. The present change proposal report will analyse the present condition of women concerning the social evil of domestic violence and also provide a proposal with suggestions and recommendations to improve the statistical data of the victims in the nation and provide better preventive and suggestive measures which can lead to the complete eradication of this issue from the nation. The proposal of this paper will be analysing the policy change focusing on the cultural change as a key determinant of this particular social evil along with the recognition of rights of the women.
It has been found that one in the six women of this nation has been subjected to physical or sexual violence by either their current partner or previous one from the sensitive age of 15 years ((ABS 2017). It has been reported that more than 50% of the women had not only experienced domestic violence with their current partner but has also experienced another violent incident. There are few groups of people even in the women gender as well which are more vulnerable to this domestic violence than others. This list includes young women, indigenous women, women who were separated from their partners, women with any disability, women having economic hardship and pregnant women. This particular social issue affects the health of women severally. This even led to various mental health conditions increasingly observed in the victims of intimate partner violence and even lead to the development of a variety of mental disorders including anxiety and depression in such population (Ayre et al. 2016).
Since domestic violence is a concern of global issue and increasing rapidly in the nation, it is on the priority list for state and territory governments of Australia. In 2011, an initiative called National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2018-2022 (National Plan) was framed and implemented to provide a violence-free and safe community to the women and children of Australia. This National Plan is not only focusing on the cases of domestic/family violence with the women in the nation but also look into the sexual assault matters to have a significant and sustainable decrease in the violence against to the vulnerable group of women and children (Domestic violence: issues and policy challenges, 2015). Under the framework of National Plan, the Third Action Plan 2016-19(COAG 2016) was implemented which was providing a framework for the government, business, communities and individuals to reduce the cases of violence against women and their children in the given period of 2016-19. There are various state and territory government-based initiatives as well which are framed and implemented to prevent this social evil and respond to such cases. Another significant initiative in the path of curbing the social evil of domestic violence in the state is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategies 2016-2026(Queensland Government 2016). On the other hand, another state initiative focusing on this social evil is NSW Domestic and Family Violence Prevention and Early Intervention Strategies 2017-2021(NSW Ministry of Health 2017).
Despite being on the major national priority in the nation (Stubbs & Wangmann, 2017), the existing policy has not been fully successful to decline the rate of domestic violence cases in the nation. The current policy implemented in the nation concerning domestic violence has an objective to disrupt the cultural norms which are facilitating and justifying the use of violence against women by their male partners. This research proposal emphasis that the contemporary domestic violence policy of Australia is not exclusively focusing on the cultural change and considering cultural change as only a minor component of this agenda of eradicating this social evil from the nation. There are shreds of evidence provided by various literature which particularly identifies culture as one of the primary determinants of domestic violence (Klingspohn, 2018). One of the challenges concerning their focus on the culture as a prime factor of domestic violence is the demonstration of the strong relationship between the culture and social structures by various literature which suggests that inadequate structural understanding concerning the domestic violence will not lead to the amelioration of this issue. The various policies which have been framed by the Australian government in the past four decades are not positioning the culture as a key determinant of this social evil but the policies are oscillating between the conceptualization of this particular problem more like a personal issue a human right issue and one which is related to family dysfunction. Although there are certain approaches which are a gender-based approach to alter the gender culture behaviour and norms which have been manifested in the federal and state-initiated violence policies throughout the nation. One such example of a policy is the National Plan which looks into the domestic violence through the lens of gender and considers using early intervention and preventive measures which can promote safer communities’, strength and service provision and effective administration of judicial responses concerning domestic violence. With the analysis of the policies of the various state government concerning domestic violence in the nation suggests that domestic violence is concerned with values and social norms and is the problem of culture.
Another change proposal which has been suggested by this paper is regarding the recognition of the rights of women. It is noticeable that the National Plan is more focused on the identification of the need of various strategies which will improve the economic security of the women and will allow better social participation but is not concerned with the recognition of their rights. The policy has just improved the opportunities for participation of women without addressing the various barriers which are preventing women from utilising those opportunities. There must be a policy which looks into these barriers such as parenting responsibility, not getting proper access to education and training, low wages in comparison to other genders and sexism. The analysis of various policies suggests that these policies are rapidly shifting the responsibility for curbing the social issues on the individual and community rather than on the government. When this issue of domestic violence is constructed as an individual problem it provides an excuse to the government from looking into the complex issues of structural inequality which are leading to the increasing rate of domestic violence in the nation (Klingspohn, 2018).
One of the challenges concerning this present paper is the focus on the culture as a prime factor of domestic violence which has been considered as the demonstration of the strong relationship between the culture and social structures by various literature. This suggests that inadequate structural understanding concerning domestic violence will not lead to the amelioration of this issue ( Pease, 2014; Salter, 2016; Seymour, 2017). Another challenge which is likely to be faced by this paper is concerning the campaigns which have been reported by the various researcher to serve as a tool which reinforces the gender ideas (Salter, 2016) resulting into the encouragement of the male gender to subscribe to the culturally dominant form of masculinity prevailing in the society(Sweet, 2019). The project will be funded with the help of the non-government of organisation which are working progressively towards the eradication of domestic violence from the nation with various social workers. This change proposal will also address the significant issue analysed by social workers. Social workers who were having a long history of analysing and seeking change in the patriarchal norms, which are not only marginalizing the women but living to the subordinate position of women to be a normal aspect of social life, will get benefit with the implementation of this change proposal. The present paper will also address the major issues which have been identified in the current cultural approach of the policy of Australia and will also lead to the destruction of the gendered social structure which is leading to the prevention of full participation of women in the society and raise the dependency of women on men.
The present paper has proposed some significant changes in the existing policy of domestic violence persisting in the nation of Australia. The issue has been analysed with the present situation of the statistical report concerning the domestic violence occurring with the women in the nation. The various initiatives which have been implemented already in the nation have also been discussed for better understanding of the issues persisting in these policies. The paper has proposed some significant policy changes to ensure the address of the social evil in a better manner which can lead to the reduction in the rate of causes related to domestic violence which not only affect the lives of women but also has an impact on their children.
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