The Australian Greens are calling on the Abbott Government to reinstate funding for healthy relationships programs in schools or risk undermining the effectiveness of its new advertising campaign against domestic violence.
"The Abbott Government is giving with one hand and taking with the other when it comes to funding to change cultural attitudes of gender inequality that lead to domestic violence," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said.
"While the Abbott Government has announced $30 million for an advertising campaign, it is cutting funding from established school programs about healthy relationships.
"It's perverse for the government to be cutting off progress already being made at the school level, while talking about the importance of reaching children through its advertising campaign.
"Both the Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry into domestic violence and the Queensland domestic violence taskforce, led by Dame Bryce, recommended school programs on healthy relationships.
"Yet the Abbott Government cut $240 million from social services grants program that provided funding to hundreds of programs, including a healthy relationships program running in several northern NSW schools.
"The Abbott Government has also cut hundreds of millions from housing affordability and homelessness programs which women escaping domestic violence rely on.
"Domestic violence is the biggest cause of homelessness facing women.
"While the new advertising campaign is welcome, the Abbott Government needs to reverse its cuts to services so that women can escape domestic violence without becoming homeless," Senator Waters said.