Sector News — 04 September 2015

MENTAL health experts say a recent Senate report into domestic violence fails to address significant issues behind the epidemic that has claimed more than 50 lives this year.

The Australian Psychological Society said the report that was handed down in August should have called for the reinstatement of support services funding.

The APS also wants more nationwide initiatives that “explicitly address” gender inequality and stereotyping.

The society was one of 165 organisations to make submissions to the inquiry.

The inquiry’s final report lists 25 recommendations but does not specify specific actions for the Federal Government.

APS public interest manager Heather Gridely said psychologists were in a special position to make comment on the issue because they often had to “pick up the pieces” left behind by domestic violence perpetrators.

“Primary prevention initiatives that explicitly promote gender equality and address gender stereotypes should be included in any government response to family violence,” Ms Gridely said.

“The government should review significant funding cuts to a broad range of services that are essential to supporting victims of domestic violence, such as emergency accommodation, financial relief services and mental health services for children.

“All of these services help to expand the choices available to victims of family violence, which is just as important as law enforcement measures to restrict the capacity of abusers to use violence with impunity.”

This article first appeared on ‘Fraser Coast Chronicle’ on 4 September 2015.

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