June Oh Seo is facing domestic violence-related charges after his 34-year-old girlfriend Hee Kyung Choi was found dead in an alleyway below his balcony in Chatswood, northern Sydney. In Campsie, also in Sydney, Qing Ming Song was charged with the attempted murder of his partner after he allegedly attacked her with a hammer and a carving knife in an attack police said left her “unrecognisable”.
In western Sydney, a 30-year-old woman was found dead with a stab wound to her torso last month. In a statement, police said they arrested 26-year-old man in relation to the death and charged him with murder and with contravening an apprehended domestic violence order. And also last month, an 87 year-old man was killed with a hammer and a knife in his home in Liverpool, New South Wales. His son was later charged with murder.
Moo Baulch, the chief executive of Domestic Violence NSW, said not much had changed since the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, addressed a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) summit on the issue in Brisbane a year ago when he said family violence was “a disgrace”, adding “we should have zero tolerance for this”.
But Baulch said: “there was a lot of disappointment in the sector because family violence has since dropped off COAG's agenda”.
“I haven’t heard anything more from the federal government since COAG met around this time last year, which is disappointing,” she told Guardian Australia. “I believe they have produced a report, but my feeling is that it’s pretty disappointing. Governments haven’t continued that level of conversation at the COAG level.”
However, she praised the Victorian government for committing to significant reforms as part of $1.9bn family violence package. She said it was disappointing that some other states and territories were not following Victoria’s lead, though she praised the Queensland government for also making significant investments into the sector.
“Victoria has so many lessons for the rest of the country,” she said. “The findings from the royal commission into family violence about broken and underfunded systems and lack of communication between agencies are lessons for all of us. In NSW we have pursued a police and criminal justice response and much of the resource in terms of budget allocation is going into a safer pathway referral system which is really important. But ultimately we need those frontline services like refuges and longterm housing funded long term.
“We know what works when it comes to addressing domestic and family violence, and that’s a well-resourced, specialist service system and housing. Investments in both are lacking in NSW.”
Guardian Australia has contacted the federal minister for women, Michaelia Cash, for comment. The NSW minister for the prevention of family violence, Pru Goward, did not respond directly to concerns that not enough was being done.
“The NSW government will continue to work hard to support victim-survivors and hold perpetrators to account,” she said. “We are doing this through providing crisis accommodation and housing support, case management through the court process, and educating perpetrators to address their violence.”
The chief executive of Domestic Violence Victoria, Fiona McCormack, said Cash had not contacted her about addressing the issue of family violence since Coag.
“It would be great to see regular conversations occurring between the federal government, COAG, and non-government organisations,” she said.
“We don’t have a regular mechanism through which to talk to the federal government about this issue.”
McCormack said people regularly told her that they wanted government action and investment in family violence, but that the federal government was not meeting these community expectations.
“At a national level we have seen a few steps like the introduction of Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, and we have a national prevention agency, but that’s not anywhere near enough. If you compare the investment to efforts made in national security it’s not enough, despite women and children being murdered at regular intervals.”
Cathy Humphreys, a professor of social work from the University of Melbourne, said Coag was concerned with national security but had failed to make the connection between terrorism and family violence.
Man Haron Monis, the Lindt cafe gunman in Sydney in 2014, was on bail for allegedly being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, and for more than 40 charges of sexual and indecent assault, at the time he carried out the cafe attack.
“Terrorists responsible for a number of attacks also often have a history of domestic violence or have grown up with it,” she said. “There is a link between terrorism and intimate partner terrorism.”
She said if governments wanted to tackle national security it made sense to also invest funding into preventing family violence.
“It is disappointing that family violence has just dropped off the COAG agenda,” she said.
This article was written by Melissa Davey and was copied from here.