As Federal, State and Territory ministers for women’s safety meet to discuss a new 10-year National Plan to end domestic and family violence, Save the Children urges ministers to better prioritise children, who are most often the hidden victims.
Neither the previous National Plan nor the draft National Plan released by the former Government adequately addresses the needs and experiences of children.
Save the Children is urging governments to ensure services and support that specifically meet the needs of children are outlined in the 2022-2032 National Plan. The leading child rights agency is also calling for a greater investment in child-focused support services.
Without this, there is a significant risk that children will continue to be unseen and unsupported when faced with domestic and family violence. Children must be recognised as victims and survivors in their own right.
Save the Children Australia’s Managing Director of Australian Services, Matt Gardiner, said:
“Children’s experiences of domestic and family violence are complex and varied, but the harm done to them by such violence is clear.
“Too often, children experiencing violence fall between the cracks and we can no longer allow this to happen.
“We must listen to children, take them seriously, and put them at the centre of all actions that impact them. Children must be a priority in this new National Plan.
“We urge leaders to focus on identifying domestic and family violence as experienced by children and supporting children’s individual needs.”
Domestic and family violence undermine the most fundamental foundations for a child’s life, including their relationships and their safety. It also causes damage to a child’s health, wellbeing, and development.
Save the Children has been running domestic violence refuges in Australia for more than 30 years along with other domestic and family violence services and is committed to supporting women and children who are fleeing domestic and family violence.
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