Women's safety pledges by coalition, Labor

·2-min read

The federal government and opposition have both promised a commissioner to oversee the prevention of violence against women and children.

The coalition will spend $22.4 million over five years on a commission looking at domestic, family and sexual violence under the next national plan to keep women and children safe.

"The next national plan will be an ambitious blueprint to end violence against women and children but it must be more than words," Minister for Women Marise Payne said.

Cabinet minister Sussan Ley labelled domestic and family violence an "invisible pandemic".

"It's the social and emotional cost that is immeasurable ... from the fallout of this invisible pandemic - especially the often-silent victims, the children," she told parliament.

Australian of the Year Grace Tame labelled the announcement "a plan to fund a committee of glorified paper-pushers tasked with overseeing another plan".

"Here's a wild idea: invest the money directly in prevention education, evidenced-based intervention programs and existing support services," the child sexual abuse survivor tweeted.

Meanwhile, Labor pledged to appoint a commissioner to oversee gendered violence prevention should it win power at next year's federal election.

It also pledged to spend $153.4 million over four years on 500 additional workers to support women in crisis.

Half of those community sector workers would be based in rural and regional Australia.

"One of the things that always strikes me when I see these statistics is that people that I know and you know must be engaged in this (violence)," Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese told reporters.

"During my life, I have been shocked by the fact that that has occurred within families that I know.

"It's a devastating crisis; it's one that we all have a responsibility to address."

Under Labor's proposal, the family, domestic and sexual violence commissioner would report yearly on progress under successive national plans to stop violence.

They would also help co-ordinate consistent access to services across the country, and work with states, territories and agencies to ensure there was the necessary data to get money to where it was needed most.

Mr Albanese accused the Morrison government of failing to adequately fund support services and accommodation.

He said refuges reported having to turn away up to half of the women seeking help, while only one-in-10 who wanted to remain in their homes safely had the necessary support to do so.

Labor's funding would be used to provide shelters with an additional case manager and community organisations with a financial counsellor.

Specialist women's services would also be able to hire a support worker to help children work through trauma.

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