The overbearing, coercive and controlling ParentsNext program which invades the privacy of women is part of the very culture of disrespect the Prime Minister has alluded to in the announcement of his extra funding to domestic violence services today.
“The ParentsNext program is part of the culture of disrespect towards women and anyone who doesn’t see that is kidding themselves, Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“If the Prime Minister is serious about changing attitudes his Government needs to change its policy so that choice and control for women is not contingent on whether they are on income support.
“This program reads like something out a 1950’s playbook.
“Attitudes to women are reflected in our social policy and programs like ParentsNext have to be viewed in the context of moralistic judgments that Government has made about single mothers.
“In fact, many mothers are sole parents as a result of domestic violence.
“We heard at the recent inquiry hearing that it is difficult for women escaping domestic violence to get an exemption from the program, which they are meant to be able to do easily.
“It was pointed out at the inquiry that the control the Government takes over women’s lives when they are forced to participate in the ParentsNext program in fact mirrors the economic control abusive partners had formerly held over their lives.
“The Government thinks that because women are sole parents, they need to be subjected to a compliance based program that is heavily monitored and punished if they don’t meet the requirements. ParentsNext is not the way to help and support mothers on income support."
Commenting on the Morrison Government’s announcement of funding to reduce violence against women, Greens spokesperson for women Senator Larissa Waters said:
“After six years of inaction and six months of silence on violence against women, the Morrison Liberal Government has finally announced a small amount of resourcing to tackle the epidemic of violence against women, but it is far too little and far too late. Nine women have already been killed this year from domestic violence and staggering numbers of women are turned away from frontline services every day because of government under-funding.
“This is the Government who slashed frontline DV services in 2014 and is led by a PM who didn’t mention the staggering number of women killed by violence for almost six months.
“The Greens will announce their comprehensive and more adequately funded package on Friday, which will give frontline response services, prevention programs and research, the long-term funding certainty they need so that no woman in need is turned away.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie (Siewert) 0418 401 180
Karina Natt (Waters) 0419 626 725