Support for Indigenous women safety plan
Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston says she supports a dedicated plan to reduce violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children.
The comments come following an open letter to the federal government from Indigenous leaders calling for a self-determined plan, rather than one just added on to the national plan to prevent violence.
“The national framework cannot be silent on Indigenous women, and what we are seeking to do is to have a dedicated action plan designed by Indigenous women moving towards self-determination,” Senator Ruston told ABC Radio National on Monday.
“We absolutely support a dedicated self-determined action plan that has real and practical outcomes and measures, to make sure issues facing Indigenous women are addressed in a way they would like to be addressed.”
Calls for a separate Indigenous plan to address violence against women and children were made at a women’s safety summit last month.
Indigenous leaders who attended the summit said the national plan that had been in effect for more than a decade had not worked.
The open letter to the government also calls for a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s summit.
Senator Ruston said she was listening to the concerns raised by Indigenous women.
“What we’re seeing to do ... is making sure there’s capacity and capability within the Indigenous sector through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, so they are delivering solutions by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people,” she said.
It comes as the federal government will provide payments of $5000 for women fleeing a violent relationship from Tuesday.
The two-year trial will see women receive $1500 in cash, with the remainder of the funds available for goods and services, or the direct payment of bills.
The UnitingCare Australia consortium has been selected as the service provider for the two-year Escaping Violence Payment trial.
The Escaping Violence Payment is not considered taxable or reportable income and will not impact any other social security payments.
Women can apply for the payment through UnitingCare Network from Tuesday.
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