The Federal Government’s announcement of a paid domestic violence leave scheme is a significant and much-needed step in efforts to end violence against women.
In the ACBC 2022-2023 Social Justice Statement, Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse, the Bishops made it clear that our relationships should be “marked by equality and reciprocity rather than domination and violence, respect and freedom rather than coercion and control.”
We know that most often those who suffer violence and abuse in homes and families, in workplaces, and in communities, are women and children while the perpetrators are most often men. We support women in calling for respect in relationships; their lives and those of their children are sacred.
At the heart of Catholic Social Teaching, there is an emphasis on the dignity of every person; a call to family, community, and participation; and the importance of promoting justice and compassion in our communities.
Domestic violence is not just a personal issue, but a social and moral issue that affects us all. We all have a shared duty to address it in our communities. It is a sinful act that leaves wounds not just physical, but emotional and spiritual.
The Catholic Church recognizes the importance of supporting survivors of domestic violence.
It is our responsibility to support survivors and promote a culture of peace and respect.
Often, women are forced to make a choice between going to work and protecting themselves against violence. This should not happen. Paid domestic violence leave offers women a chance to keep earning an income to support themselves and their children while also protecting themselves from further abuse and violence at the hands of close family members, members of their household or their current or former intimate partners. For more information about this new initiative, see the FairWork Ombudsman’s information at: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/family-and-domestic-violence-leave