Campaign against domestic and family violence - Get on board!

The January council meeting adopted fourteen actions to help the campaign against domestic and family violence. One of the proposals was for the City to increase its involvement in White Ribbon Day. See pictures (left) of White Ribbon Day 2012 stall outside Freo station.

On 1 February the City's contract with the Department of Child Protection to provide the Family and Domestic Violence Case Management and Coordination Service expired. The Department has replaced it with a new service that the City was not qualified to operate.

In response I proposed to the September 2012 Council meeting that the City set up a committee to explore other things it could do to help in the campaign against family and domestic violence. See the committee's recommendations below.

I'd like to thank the staff from Warrawee Women's Refuge, the Community Legal Centre, other services and the wider community for their involvement in the committee and White Ribbon Day. Meanwhile the new Family and Domestic Violence Coordinated Response Service has been taken up the Lucy Saw Women's refuge.

In the January 29 Fremantle Gazette Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney is reported as saying her department provides $5.77 million for family and domestic violence services in the greater Fremantle area.

What is not reported, and which she no doubt neglected to say, is that her government has deliberately denied Warrawee the funding increases that her government has given to other refuges. This will deprive it of up to $300,000 over a three year period. Read more at: www.freoreport.net/node/133

Yet on any given night Warrawee and other refuges across Perth has to turn away hundreds of women and children who desperately need shelter. Of course this won't stop the Liberals from banging on about "law and order" in the state election". Seems like some victims of crime don't count.

Fortunately Freo people have proven themselves a lot better, generously donating toiletries and other goods to our refuges for White Ribbon Day.

Family and domestic violence is the most common form of violence being perpetrated every day in our community. It has no place in our society. It's the responsibility of every single one of us to speak up and stop it.

Committee Recommendations

The committee recommends that the City of Fremantle:

1. Take a lead role in promoting White Ribbon Day and the messages that accompany it and encourage a more collaborative approach (including getting businesses on board).
2. Develop a promotional plan for White Ribbon Day.
3. Invite celebrities or high profile community members to attend and take part in the “I Swear” signing for White Ribbon Day.
4. Explore potential funding sources to continue to print the pocket cards possibly through local businesses or public donations. If businesses adopt this idea then certificates or something similar could be given those businesses to display in their windows.
5. Offer a meeting venue such as The Meeting Place or Hilton Community Centre for a new women’s program to address the gaps that other programs don’t cover. The development of the program would require a collaboration of local agencies.
6. Have a staff presence at silent marches for WRD in the CBD and Reclaim the Night march.
7. Offer a meeting venue for family and domestic violence services to have a networking meeting 3 or 4 times annually. A sub-committee of local agencies would be formed to organize these to include relevant speakers. Whether the new family and domestic violence service will organize this is unknown at this stage.
8. Facilitate “Pay It Forward” (toiletries donated for residents of local refuges) twice per year given there was such a positive response with this appeal.
9. Investigate whether or not relevant forums that are held in the Fremantle area where applicable could include speakers on the subject of Family and Domestic Violence i.e. Fremantle Community Leadership forum
10. Include information on the website about where, what and how to donate to Warrawee Women’s Refuge.
11. Develop promotional tools including a banner to advertise the City’s support of the event and an advert in the paper along with an article.
12. Develop a common charter and slogan to be adopted by the City e.g. Fremantle says NO to violence but with a family and & domestic violence message (similar to the liquor accord that local businesses are involved in).
13. Develop an anti-violence signature email slogan similar “The City of Fremantle is Carbon Neutral” to be used occasionally on City emails.
14. Consider the inclusion of a separate paid leave entitlement for Family and Domestic Violence.

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