While Victoria has made significant efforts at family violence reform in Victoria in the past, we have now seen real leadership delivered by the Victorian government which has finally recognised that women and children have a right to live free from violence.
But this is not the end of the story.
Hundreds of fearful Victorian women and children slept in emergency shelters, cars, parks and friend's homes because they were too scared to go home.
Today many of these women will not be able to go to work, putting themselves under further stress and disadvantage.
Today many of these children will not be able to go to school.
Today many will continue to live with violence and abuse because they can’t access the support they need to flee.
Today many of their abusers will continue their abuse: breaching intervention orders, contesting parenting orders and refusing to provide financial support.
Victoria's Budget allocation is the beginning. Now the Federal Government needs to step up to the plate. Let's hope we see that when they deliver their budget next week.
Hard work, collaboration, commitment, changes in societal attitudes AND funding are the essential ingredients to create a safe life for women and children.
Read Fiona McCormack's article in the Herald Sun here.