Women's Council for Domestic & Family Violence Services (WA)
What does the Women's Council for Domestic & Family Violence Services (WA) do?
The Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA) (WCDFVS) is a state-wide peak organisation committed to improving the status of women and children in society. The WCDFVS seeks to ensure that all women and children live free of domestic and family violence. Their role is to provide a voice on domestic and family violence issues that facilitates and promotes policy, legislative and programmatic responses relevant to women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence. The WCDFVS operates from a feminist perspective and proactively advocates for social justice in order to further empowerment, access, equity and safety for all women and children. There are currently 35 refuges in WA that support children and their mother's/carer's fleeing violence and seeking crisis accomodation.
How does the Women's Council seek to ensure that all women and children live free of domestic and family violence?
The Women's Council does this through addressing the six elements in the Supporting Women and Children Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence model as seen below.
Why women & children? Is domestic & family violence a gendered crime?
Gender-based violence is perhaps the most widespread and socially tolerated of human rights violations. The cost to women, their children, families and communities is a significant obstacle to reducing poverty, achieving gender equality and meeting the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (United Nations, 2005). Gender-based violence takes many forms, from the domestic confrontations that leave millions of women living in fear to sexual abuse and rape, to harmful practices ranging from female genital mutilation/cutting to “honour killings” and dowry-related violence (United Nations, 2005).
Research has clearly shown that there are important differences in the gendered nature of domestic and family violence:
Family and domestic violence is a gendered crime. Approximately 95% of the victims of family and domestic violence are female, and 90% of the perpetrators are male (Bagshaw & Chung, 2000)
Women are more likely to experience more severe and ongoing violence including life threatening acts (Bagshaw et al. 2010)
Women experience more threats, including threats of harm to the children and these threats more often occur in a context of intimidation and fear (Bagshaw et al. 2010)
Men do not report the same level of violence or feelings of fear or powerlessness (Bagshaw et al. 2010).