Australia allocates $70 mn to fight domestic violence

Melbourne, Sep 24 (IANS) The Australian government on Thursday announced a package of $70 million (100 million Australian dollars) to fight domestic violence which has claimed the lives of 63 women so far this year.

“Violence against women is one of the great shames of Australia. It is a national disgrace,” said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Melbourne, more than a week after taking over the reins of the government from his party colleague Tony Abbott.

A part of the amount will be invested over the next three years in expanding domestic violence-alert training for the police, health staff, social workers and emergency personnel, EFE news reported.

The plan also includes distributing 20,000 cell phones to help women escape abusive situations, as well as GPS monitoring of abusers, funds for a help-line and promoting respect during online interactions.

Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said in a press conference that the decision sought to make women feel safe in their “homes, on the streets and online” while stressing on the urgent need to change the culture in the country.

She also highlighted that 25 percent of the youth feel it is alright for a man to slap a woman if he has been drinking.

Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year (2015) for her campaign against domestic violence — which she started after her son was killed by his father– was also present during the announcement.

The announcement follows the murders this week of three women and one baby by family members in the state of New South Wales alone.

It also follows an appeal earlier this month in the state of Queensland by a number of high-profile Australians for governments to do more to tackle domestic violence.

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