Domestic violence is a serious emerging issue worldwide which majorly affect the women. The women in Australia experience this violence by her male partner, which is commonly called as domestic violence. Although it is incorrect to do gender biasing, as sometimes violence can also be against men by their female partners or within same-sexual relations. The cause behind domestic violence is the misconceptions or debate among the partners. Domestic violence can be either physical, psychological, sexual abuse, or emotional. There are several risk factors of domestic violence such as, use of alcohol or drugs, child abuse, separation, and pregnancy. Women’s are at stake of facing these violence issues, specially the women living in rural and remote areas, or women with disability, low background, younger age and Indigenous Australian women. Many of women do not report the incident of domestic violence due to fear of not being believed, or embarrassment. Women’s specially give priority to get advice by their family or community people, rather than reporting it. Also, they would like to be killed by her partner in the home than going anywhere else to report. However, government of Australia have employed several strategies to tackle with the situation of domestic violence. They assured the people over there that this kind of violence can be reduced or prevented. The Council of Australian Government has taken an initiative to overcome the issue of domestic violence. This initiative is addressed as “National plan to reduce violence against women and their children”. The Government of Australia is trying to reduce it promoting equality and providing relief fund to women. Till now, there are several surveys conducted in Australia for domestic violence among women. This includes ABS personal safety survey, which provides information about safety of people in their house and community or degree of violence among women. Other surveys conducted against domestic violence are Australian component of International violence against women survey (IVAWS) and women’s safety survey (Philips, 2014).
Government is well aware about the issue of domestic violence among women’s in Australia, and provided several preventive programs and support for the women and their families as well. Several surveys are also conducted to know the status of violence among women. Other than this, policies are also provided by different political parties in Australia to relief the women suffering from domestic violence. Take an example of two political parties who work against domestic violence, that are- Liberal party and Australian labor party (ALP). Both of these parties have committed have worked on prevention and recovery of Australian women from domestic violence. Government of Australia has provided a record fund to decrease the level of domestic violence. Government has committed to provide $328 million to prevent and reduce the violence issues. These financial supports are provided across 8 governmental departments which includes the multiple forms of actions required to address the issue of violence. This comes under the National action plan of government to for sustainable reduction of violence against women’s and their children by 2022. Further, this liberal political party made some changes in welfare to work policies. According to the support package provided for domestic and family violence, the government has provided $2 million for women’s office. This action has been taken to support the women and prevent then from financial abuse. However, National Foundation for Australian Women’s assessment has committed that this fund is not sufficient. Moreover, the government also ensure to provide 5 unpaid leaves for people who are going through domestic or family violence. Another political party, named as labor party has also provide a detailed statement to reduce family violence. Labor has given a long-term plan to enhance the access of housing during these changes in phases and capital gains tax. This will also support to build 2,50,000 new houses at affordable prices. This plan is for 10-years and called as “build to rent” initiative. Other initiative taking by labor party is to double the number of domestic violence health justice partnerships, and expand the facilities of domestic violence courts with best setting. Labor also address the poverty and financial issues or economic abuse like dowry demand (Federal election series, 2019).
Both ALP ad Liberal parties are supporting the National Action Plan and funding provided for prevention and recovery of Australian women from domestic violence. Liberal parties are not supportive for increasing rate campaign and also make some minor improvements in welfare to work policies. According to the package provided by government to support people from domestic violence includes the commitment of $2 million for making offices for women. This initiative has been taken to support women from domestic violence as well as financial crisis. Under the Liberal government 5 unpaid leaves are provided to people who are facing the family violence issues (Morrison et al., 2019). On the other hand, Labor parties, called as ALP has released a plan statement to deal with domestic violence. They doubled the 4th action plan funding up to $120 million for emergency facilities and refuges. They also provide fund od $88 million for affordable and safe housing, and 2,50,000 new houses to the suffered people. Their party has taken a build to rent initiative to provide houses at affordable rents. Fund of $90 million is provided to prevent family violence and called as family violence legal services fund. Further, for integrated safety of individual $2 million fund and for forceful marriage $13.6 million fund is provided to victims. $62 million is provided for support and prevention of local community and services and $35 million in support of respectful relationship education provided in schools. His party also ensure to give 10 days paid leave for family violence. Overall, both the parties are highly engaged to change the system for domestic violence and provide the best possible support for Australian women (Shorten, 2019).
Human rights are the rights for all human beings without any discrimination or inequality. Both of political parties mentioned, that is ALP and Liberal political party has provided a detailed list of policies in favour to the women’s suffering from domestic violence. These political parties provided different fund relief to meet the human rights convention. The Australian association of social workers (AASW) code of ethics tells about the different responsibilities related to social work profession. The purpose of these code of ethics is to provide information about the ethical practice of the social workers. These codes identify the ethics, provides a guide for ethical practice and decision making for the need of social workers. ALP and Liberal political parties who work for the improvement of domestic violence faced by Australian women, meets with the human rights conventions and Australian association of social workers codes of ethics as well. Different political parties along with providing the funds, they also provide access to the ethical practices followed by social workers. By this, social worker is more encouraged towards their social work by following these ethical work codes. Ethical responsibilities of any social worker are to provide- General ethical responsibilities, responsibilities to clients, responsibilities to colleagues, responsibilities in the workplace, responsibilities in particular contexts and responsibilities to the profession (Keeney et al., 2014).
Political parties provide a wide range of benefits to public through funding or political support like tax deductions. The reason behind the agreement of advocacy organizations with political parties is they provide a policy representation or political agreement in terms of public funding to solve the issues emerging like domestic violence. The political parties such as ALP and Liberal parties will make a policy agenda and combine it with advocacy under proper government functions. These kinds of political approaches will lead to agreement of advocacy organizations. Parties should conduct healthy election competitions against the opposition for public support are also agreed and considered by advocacy organizations and government. However, other non-governmental organizations, for example the parties who speak irrelevant sections about the community during elections, are the reasons for disagreement of advocacy organizations. Moreover, these parties are not secure to do public funding and charities for people. Although, it is more beneficial for the political parties only. In 2014, government has started removing people from commonwealth funding agreements, who criticise government and public advocacy (Nicholls, 2015).
Much debate has been in regulation about what activity or event describes violence between spouses or partners. Government has taken drastic steps to reform the social issue of violence against woman (Aph.gov.au, 2020). It was adapted that violence against women would be taken as seriously as a human rights violation. The profession of social work is associated with benefitting the underprivileged human beings existing on Earth. The social work platform where professionals help to redefine the social wellbeing of the woman, especially of those who belong from undermined communities. The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), is a national organisation that harbours social workers in Australian boundaries (Aasw.asn.au, 2020). The social workers are major key players in the supporting, assisting and advocating on behalf of men, women and children who are the victims of family and domestic violence. They help to empower the people who are involved in the effects of domestic violence.
In the policy for supporting victims of domestic violence, it is generally seen that women and children are the general victims, and the violence is inflicted by the males they trust. According to the survey 1in, every 3 Australian women suffer from domestic violence (Aasw.asn.au, 2020). The major challenge faced by social workers due to the ambiguous policy information that defines the underlying cause of domestic violence. General agreement, controlling positions in relationships, power imbalances are the essential determinants that help the defendants in the eyes of law.
Social workers help the victims to get justice, though community attitudes lead to unjust disclosure on sexual assault and domestic violence. Fear or perpetrator is another reason that provides a major barrier for social workers to carry out their duties diligently. The Council of Australian Government has taken an initiative, to address the issues of domestic violence through the creation of National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Children (Humanrights.gov.au, 2020). The stakeholders and commentators of this program have focused on developing integrated resourcing and to raise funds, to lead fair jurisdiction. This will ensure the change in the long term, as it is required objective to be fulfilled by AASW.
The policy information presented in the political documents create issues for social workers to support the victims properly is because of their complexity and non-coordination in the response of witnesses. Therefore, the social workers can help the victims through programs, where traumas are healed, self-worth is redeemed and empowerment is at its core (Aph.gov.au, 2020). Domestic Violence is no longer the bounds of government, hence clear and simple policies will help the social workers to do their duty without any ambiguous data interrupting their course of actions.
Federal election series (2019). As safe as houses? Comparing Liberal and Labor platforms on women’s safety. The Power to Persuade. Retrieved from: http://www.powertopersuade.org.au/blog/as-safe-as-houses-comparing-liberal-and-labor-platforms-on-womens-safety/16/5/2019
Keeney, A.J., Smart, A.M., Richards, R., Harrison S., Carrillo, M., & Valentine, D. (2014). Human rights and social work codes of ethics: An international analysis. Journal of Welfare and Human Rights, 2(2), 1-16. DOI: 10.15640/10.15640/jswhr.v2n2a
Morrison, S., Dwyer, K., & Fletcher, P. (2019). Record funding to reduce domestic violence. Liberal. Retrieved from: https://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2019/03/05/record-funding-reduce-domestic-violence
Nicholls, S. (2015) ‘Political Leaders Urged to Unite in Overhaul of National Donations Laws’, Sydney Morning Herald.
Philips, J. (2014). Domestic, family and sexual violence in Australia: an overview of the issues. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1415/ViolenceAust
Shorten, B. (2019). Labor will make ending violence against women- A National priority. Labour. Retrieved from: https://www.billshorten.com.au/news/bill-s-media-releases/labor-will-make-ending-violence-against-women-a-national-priority-friday-26-april-2019/
Aph.gov.au (2020) Domestic violence in Australia—an overview of the issues – Parliament of Australia . Retrieved 9 August 2020, from https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2011-2012/DVAustralia#_Toc309798395
Aasw.asn.au (2020) Australian Association of Social Workers | Domestic and Family Violence Position Paper Retrieved 9 August 2020, from https://www.aasw.asn.au/document/item/2214
Humanrights.gov.au (2020) Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission Roundtable on Children affected by Family and Domestic Violence Retrieved 9 August 2020, from https://humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/5.%20Australian%20Association%20of%20Social%20Workers%20%28AASW%29.pdf
aph.gov.au (2020) Domestic violence: issues and policy challenges – Parliament of Australia . Retrieved 9 August 2020, from https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1516/DVIssues
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