Eastern Metro MP Rod Barton has called on the Government to continue its support of the Speaking Out program which faces an uncertain future when its funding runs out at the end of June.
The Speaking Out program trains, enables and supports women who have experienced either family violence and/or sexual assault to share their stories with the public through a range of advocacy opportunities.
“These incredibly brave women are front line fighters for awareness in our community about family violence and sexual assault and they need support to continue the program in the future,” says Mr Barton.
“There is much valuable work being done at the Government and grassroots level to raise awareness and change attitudes, and I believe programs such as Speaking Out have a major role to play by making sure those directly effected have input into shaping decision making processes and sharing their stories.”
An example of how effective this program has been is a participant working recently with a water utility group to help them ensure security systems stop violent partners finding women by requesting the new address on their new utility bill.
The Speaking Out program received funding in the 2018/19 financial year and has successful worked with about 50 advocates. They currently supporting 30 women to take their messages out into the community and group is involved in 2 to 3 advocacy opportunities each week.
“I have written to the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams and asked for her support for this program and would hope she shares my views on the importance of empowering these women to be involved in the solutions for these important issues,” says Mr Barton.