Members are asked to support the campaign #WeWontWaitDV for 10 days of paid domestic violence leave as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women today kicks off 16 days of action.
This is a very difficult campaign because we are shining a light in some very dark places; places which have been hidden for such a long time. But it calls for a simple measure that governments and employers can take to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
Federation is calling on state and federal governments to legislate to introduce a discrete entitlement of 10 days paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards and in relevant state-based industrial legislation.
Please join the campaign by using the social media hashtag #WeWontWaitDV and visiting the Unions NSW website for more information.
The United Nations has declared today International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women because violence against women is:
- a human rights violation
- a consequence of persisting inequalities between men and women
- an obstacle to progress in global development and poverty reduction
Unions NSW has launched #WeWontWaitDV for domestic violence leave because two-thirds of women affected by domestic violence are in the workforce, and maintaining that employment is critical in supporting them to escape the violence. Without financial independence, it is nearly impossible for people to leave a situation of threat.
The current provision of five days for the NSW public sector, including teachers, is inadequate. The requirement to exhaust all sick and FACS leave before accessing the entitlement leaves already vulnerable people without leave available to cover their own illnesses or those of their children.
Tomorrow (Saturday) as Council meets, Federation is putting together a video campaign to support #WeWontWaitDV.
Today, hundreds of people marched at Coogee in Sydney to mark the male-led campaign to end violence against women, White Ribbon Day, with NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione telling the crowd that 32 Australians have been killed this year in family and relationship violence and that it was imperative for people to inform police if they believe a situation of domestic violence is occurring in their vicinity.
This week, Labor MP Emma Husar spoke movingly in federal parliament about her own experiences of domestic violence. It was a powerful example of how violence can affect anyone and how we must begin to speak about the impact of violence as part of the community effort to end it. Watch Ms Husak’s speech here. (Warning: the video contains a stark depiction of domestic violence and its lifelong impacts.)
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.