Today I want to highlight the importance of continued funding for domestic violence programs. Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the 2021-22 personal safety survey. It revealed that an estimated eight million Australians have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, including 31 per cent of women and 42 per cent of men experiencing physical violence, and 22 per cent of women and 6.1 per cent of men experiencing sexual violence.
The survey revealed an unexpected drop in the number of people reporting violence and emotional abuse at the hands of a partner they have lived with compared to the same study six years earlier. While these particular statistics are positive, it’s important the government continues to provide strong levels of funding across early intervention, prevention response and recovery streams.
I have spoken to multiple services and shelters across the country who all told me they experienced spikes in requests for help over the pandemic and who still desperately require resources. We need to ensure support services are funded to help those who are experiencing any kind of violence. Eight million Australians experiencing physical or sexual violence since the age of 15 is absolutely not acceptable.