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Government’s rhetoric means nothing to domestic violence victims if they can’t get leave from work to escape

Media Release
Larissa Waters 9 Mar 2016

Reports today that the Turnbull Liberal Government is presiding over the slashing of domestic violence leave for public servants put a lie to the government's rhetoric about respect for women.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for women, said:

"Slashing domestic violence leave at any time is inexcusable but these reports the day after International Women's Day really put into focus the government's hypocrisy.

"The Prime Minister's fine words and ribbon-wearing mean nothing to women escaping domestic violence if they cannot get leave to keep their jobs or are turned away from crowded shelters and legal services.

"This blatant disregard for domestic violence victims is completely at odds with the Prime Minister's rhetoric about respect for women and sets a bad example for other sectors.  

"The Prime Minister and Minister for Women must immediately step in to stop allowing domestic violence leave to be cut from the public service.

"It's heartbreaking to think of the desperate struggle women face in trying to keep their jobs while escaping domestic violence so that they can afford to start a new, safe life.

"The public service should provide leadership on this issue. Domestic violence leave is fundamental to allowing women and their children to escape violence.

"Funding for shelters, legal services and call centres, which are currently not able to keep up with the tragically high demand, is also crucial and desperately needed.

"Through the Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry into domestic violence all parties last year agreed to a move towards domestic violence leave for all victims.

"For the Turnbull Government to now turn around and allow domestic violence leave to be gutted for its own employees is abhorrent," Senator Waters said.

The Greens' policy is for universal access to 10 days paid domestic violence leave annually.


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