The Anglican Church in Melbourne said today it welcomed the announcement by the Victorian government that it will increase its funding to tackle family violence by $16 million.

Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee, said: “This is a timely and compassionate response to the evidence of a growing need for services to tackle the problem. This week’s release of new statistics demonstrates that the crime rate is rising. Police are reported to attribute this largely to a rise in family violence-related crime which climbed by 39.9%!

“Tragically, more than 100,000 women in Australia experience violence by a partner or ex-partner. At least 60% of these cases are witnessed by children. We must do all we can to prevent such suffering.”

He said that violence against women is entirely preventable. “Not hitting women should, in any civilised society, be the normal state of affairs for men and not a departure from the norm.

“We must work to create a culture where all forms of violence are seen as unacceptable. There is a link between gender inequality and violence against women. The onus of proof is on those who would dispute this link. Educating our communities about respectful relationships has the very real potential to reduce the number of women and children who need protection and costly intervention services.”

He said that the Anglican Church in Melbourne is striving to change the attitudes which lead to violence. “We affirm the equal dignity of women and men and relationships based on mutuality and love. The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne violence prevention program, the first of its kind in Australia, works to stop violence before it occurs. More information is available at www.melbourne.anglican.com.au/women

He said anyone concerned about domestic violence should contact the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service on 1800 015 188 or the Men’s Referral Service on 1800 065 973.

Contact Bishop Philip Huggins on 0418 799 515.

 

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