‘Breathtakingly disrespectful’: Brittany Higgins’ slams deadline for violence again women plan

Erin LyonsNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Brittany Higgins has slammed the government’s two-week deadline for a national plan to end violence against women and children.

A draft plan was released on Friday detailing what the government believes needs to be done and outlining how the nation can get there.

It is open for feedback for the next two weeks before closing on January 31.

Ms Higgins, who went public last year with allegations she was raped at Parliament House by a fellow Liberal staffer, offered a scathing take-down of the deadline.

She posted a tweet on Friday afternoon describing the move as “breathtakingly disrespectful”.

“The government have given community organisations and experts just two weeks to contribute to the upcoming 10-year Violence Against Women National Plan,” she said.

“Two weeks to map out the next 10 years of the fight against gendered violence in Australia.”

Australian of the Year Grace Tame also joined the chorus, accusing the government of not taking legitimate action.

“A perfect example of the government’s consistent approach to dire issues,” she wrote on social media.

“I’m tired of being told we shouldn’t complain because ‘at least they’re making a plan’. Rubbish.

“Dig deeper and there’s nothing there. No genuine commitment, no legitimate action, just hollow words.”

National Press Club
Camera IconGrace Tame and Brittany Higgins have both slammed the government’s deadline. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: NCA NewsWire

The plan was centred on “four pillars” which included prevention, intervention, response and recovery.

It covers a range of measures to prevent violence, including how to support victims.

Other areas the four pillars are focused on includes working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and ensuring an evidence based approach to each case.

However, the two week deadline for feedback had come under scrutiny, not only from Ms Higgins and Ms Tame but from members of the public and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s wife, Lucy Turnbull.

Ms Turnbull questioned the time frame on Twitter, saying the deadline sounded like “a joke”.

“A two week consultation period for a plan for violence against women in the middle of a pandemic and school holidays,” she wrote.

“Sounds like a joke but it isn’t. Not nearly long enough. A terrace house alteration would get 28 days. This should be the minimum.”

Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston said the draft was the culmination of 18 months of “extensive, detailed and thorough consultation” with various members of the community like survivors, advocates and business leaders.

“We have held a parliamentary inquiry, the National Summit on Women’s Safety, dozens of roundtables, two extensive public surveys as well as established the National Plan Advisory Group and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council and I would like to thank everyone who provided their time, insight and expertise throughout this process,” she said in a statement.

“The Women’s Safety Taskforce of all governments agreed to provide two weeks for the public to have one last opportunity to provide comments and feedback before the National Plan is finalised as we continue our important work in ending gendered violence.

“As we have said throughout this 18 month process we are open to considering all feedback and I am happy to discuss this issue with my state and territory counterparts.”

Originally published as ‘Breathtakingly disrespectful’: Brittany Higgins’ slams deadline for violence again women plan

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