In the past week alone four people in Australia have died as a result of domestic violence. Thirty-eight women have died this year.
One in four Australian women experiences some form of abuse by a current or former partner.
So why is the Federal Government ignoring the issue? COAG had planned to meet to discuss domestic violence leave but changed the agenda.
Sally McManus, the ACTU secretary, says it’s not good enough.
“Almost two thirds of women who experience domestic violence are in the workforce. Having access to paid domestic violence leave means a woman can leave a violent relationship without fear of losing her job. She can access a safe place for her and her kids. We cannot wait, this issue needs to be addressed immediately.”
Unions are seeking legislative change so that employees can access 10 days paid leave to escape dangerous situations and maintain financial independence.
“We are campaigning over the next month to ensure that women do not have to wait any longer for basic rights to live in safety,” McManus says.
A year ago the COAG Summit into DV specifically recommended paid DV leave be considered in employment standards. Despite previous meetings declaring that it would be discussed after the Fair Work Commission decision on paid leave in awards was issued.That has happened but DV was off the agenda: Yesterday’s COAG meeting only dealt with national security.
How is an issue that has killed four women in a single week not a matter of national security?