We know that domestic violence can happen to anyone. We know that many ASU members will have a direct experience of domestic violence or will have worked with those affected by domestic violence.
1. Paid domestic violence leave is an important universal right all workers should have access to. We know that women have been murdered on the way to or from work because when they try to leave an unsafe home the perpetrator of violence knows where they work.
Women need to know that their workplace has a commitment to supporting them through paid leave to speak out, seek help and take action if they are affected by domestic violence. Economic dependency traps people in violent relationships.
This important workplace right will save lives.
2. The provision of timely, effective and expert non-judgemental support for women experiencing violence can make all the difference to whether a woman successfully rebuilds her life and achieves safety.
This means quality support from a range of services must be available - in particular specialist women-led women’s services. Recent funding cuts at all levels of government have had a dramatic effect on women-led women’s services.
We need all governments to come together and provide a new national funding agreement to fill the urgent gaps in service delivery, provide genuine holistic care and support for women, and ensure that women-led women’s services are sustainable into the future.
I support the ASU We Won’t Wait End Domestic Violence campaign and call on our federal political leaders to commit to:
- Legislating for paid domestic violence leave to be available to all workers in the National Employment Standards of the Fair Work Act. Domestic violence leave should be a universal right of equal status to annual leave, long service leave and personal leave.
- Providing new and additional funding for specialist women-led women’s services via a new national funding agreement between all governments to address gaps in current funding and to address the safety, wellbeing and status of women.