Government Axes Domestic Violence Education Funding For Thousands Of NSW Students

Social services minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for a $271 million budget cut which will axe a domestic violence education program across some Northern NSW schools.

REALskills, a program which raises awareness and educates school students about domestic abuse and relationships will be directly affected by the budget cuts to grants. The news follows statements made by Prime Minister Tony Abbott at last week’s Council of Australian Government’s meeting, in which Abbott highlighted the priority of addressing domestic violence in Australia.

Principals from five schools affected by the cuts predicted such a move will have a “significant impact” on the welfare of their students.

In January, Prime Minister Abbott awarded Victorian Rosie Batty the Australian of the Year award for her anti-domestic violence activism in Australia, following the death of her son Luke at the hands of his father. Batty also criticised the budget cuts, according to fairfax: “If we are going to achieve cultural change, it has to happen through our schools,” Batty said. 

Two days after awarding Rosie Batty with the Australian of the Year award, Tony Abbott launched a domestic violence order scheme alongside Batty, claiming that the statistic of one woman being killed by a current or former male partner per week is “unacceptable.” 

A community projects manager at a Tweed Heads family centre described the benefits of the REALskills program and lamented its discontinuation, telling Farifax:

“Through face to face interaction with service providers in schools, the youngsters are realising it’s not so bad to reach out and talk…whether that be about family violence, their own mental health problems or issues of engagement at school. But it is all about to go.”

Sing it with me:


via Sydney Morning Herald.
Lead image by Stefan Postles via Getty images.

Domestic violence is never acceptable. If you or someone you know is experiencing physical or sexual abuse, calls can be made 24 hours a day on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line.