Our Overarching Principles
We operate within the framework of feminist philosophy.
Domestic violence should be understood through the uneven relations of power that differs between men, women, and children. Just by basing it on society’s patriarchal structures, men undoubtedly have greater strength compared to women and children.
Domestic violence arises from the unequal power relationship and is reinforced through that. Those who commits domestic violence would sometimes think that they have the ‘right’ to control and persuade both women and children.
We operate within a collective framework for decision making.
We have always maintained our core committing to encourage each refuge to take part in the decision-making process of the whole organization. This can be achieved through state and regional conferences as well as the WRM Working Party, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Koori, Older Women and Child Support Groups, and Lesbian (LGBTIQ).
Women’s services for women.
We are always in full support of the policy and practice of women operating and managing refuges within a feminist framework intended only for women, and also for women who have children that are also getting away from domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a breach of human rights.
Domestic violence clearly violates human rights. This crime is a violation against a certain individual and also against society.
There’s no doubt that domestic violence can cause problems to the whole society and not only to the individual who’s experiencing the problem.
Domestic violence is a crime.
Since domestic violence is considered to be a crime, it must also be responded to with the appropriate actions. The perpetrator alone will be responsible and be punished for the act he committed.
Domestic violence includes all sorts of violence.
Domestic violence includes the following violations: physical, abuse, verbal and emotional, abduction and confinement, humiliation, harassment, deprivation of spiritual and cultural rights, intimidation, isolation from support, denial of access to money and other resources, sexual assault and abuse which includes rape and incest, threat of or actual abuse, and, to be a part of the continuum of violence, murder.
Domestic violence occurs in all sorts of relationships.
Domestic violence can happen to all forms of relational of a personal nature which includes heterosexual or lesbian, de factor or marital, ex-relationships, and extended families.
Domestic violence requires a comprehensive response.
The most appropriate response towards domestic violence is the one that includes the government, our communities, and the following:
- Advocacy for the rights of each woman and children plus the society as a whole.
- Change to our society’s patriarchal structures since they are reflected in the legal, political, economic, and social systems and the way they happen in government departments and institutions.
- Removing the obstacles to women and children’s safety and empowerment wherever they may happen.
Children have particular needs.
We understand that children may require some separate needs that are far different from their mothers. Being able to provide a special kind of support for children is an essential part when it comes to an effective response to how domestic violence should be handled.
We commit ourselves in breaking the continuous cycle of domestic violence by providing effective support for children who have been through domestic violence.
Access & equity.
Diversity is something that we value, and we commit ourselves to promoting access to and equity of services for every woman out there.
This would include Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander women and children, lesbians and their children, CALD women and children, older women, women and children in rural areas, young women, and women and children with disabilities.
Power disparities based on cultural background.
We take into consideration the disadvantages that women and children go through due to the discriminatory policies, attitudes, and practices within the society based on the cultural background.
Representation of Aboriginal, Lesbian and CALD issues.
We encourage the decision-making process that has an influence on the diverse groups that exists in the community. This would normally involve the promotion of the Aboriginal women, lesbians in staffing and management, and immigrant women.
We are also a part of the development of policies that are focused on appropriate and sensitive support as well as responses to domestic violence.
We realize that the domestic violence that Aboriginal women and children go through are being understood in a historical and cultural context that then acknowledge that retain a group with disadvantages because of society’s discriminatory structures.
Aboriginal women formed the WRM Koori Support Group in the WRM as a way of showing their support to the network so that the issues related to the Aboriginal women and children be ensured so that they remain on the agenda.
Migrant and CALD Issues
We recognize that CALD, migrant, and refuge women and children that are part of our society encounters a lot of barriers to accessing services.
The CALD Support Group was founded by women who are linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds in the WRM as a network dedicated to becoming a support network to guarantee any issues related to CALD women and children remain on their main goal.
We notice that lesbians and their children go through some difficult times and barriers in life whenever they want to access the services.
The Lesbian Support Group was founded by the lesbian members in the WRM as a support network to guarantee that any issues related to lesbians and their children would still be a part of the agenda.
Women and children with disabilities.
We notice that there are a variety of barriers that delays women and children with disabilities from gaining access to the services and is committed to addressing the said issues.