DV motion on prevention a 'line in the sand'

Andrew BrownAAP
Federal parliament has backed a motion calling for immediate action on domestic violence. (Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconFederal parliament has backed a motion calling for immediate action on domestic violence. (Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Federal parliament has created a "line in the sand" on domestic violence by backing a motion that recognised the need for better prevention strategies, independent MP Zali Steggall says.

The House of Representatives unanimously backed a motion put forward by Ms Steggall on Thursday that acknowledged women's safety advocates had called for immediate action and urgent investment for domestic violence prevention.

The motion also put forward calls by advocates to allow a boost to legal services for women fleeing violence, as well recognising that one woman was murdered by her current or former partner on average every four days.

Ms Steggall said while the bipartisan backing was reassuring, there was also deep frustration that not enough was being done in parliament to address the rates of violence against women.

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"The point of the motion is that talk is cheap and we want to see action," she told AAP.

"Business as usual and continuing on is not acceptable ... by having the motion pass with unanimous support, it means we have a line in the sand.

"We will continue raising this with the government."

The motion comes after national cabinet held an emergency meeting earlier in May on domestic violence prevention.

The federal government had pledged more than $900 million to make permanent a program that would provide $5000 in relief measures for women fleeing violence situations.

Ms Steggall said the program, which was part of Tuesday's federal budget, should have been part of broader measures addressing prevention strategies.

"The budget had nothing for increases for frontline services," she said.

"Could we please be real, $5000 does not set up for a safe life and doesn't take you out of a dangerous situation."

Labor MP Jodie Belyea spoke of her own experience dealing with domestic violence during debate on the motion, saying all of parliament needed to work together to address the scourge

"I'm very conscious ... of the impact (domestic violence) has on women, men and children, their capacity to be educated, to participate in life," she said.

"I know this well, because, I too, have experienced domestic, family and sexual violence over 20 years as a child, young person and adult. I know what it is to fear for my life at the hands of a man."

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