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Business combats domnestic violence

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Business com bats dom nestic violence. John HOWARD, MP. Press release (Prime M inister). 12 Nov. 1997. Text item: 97-2297 (Online)

The text of this press release has been scanned electronically from the original. Freedom from errors or omissions cannot be guaranteed.

Today I announce the latest step in the Federal Government's fig h t against domestic violence w ith a programme to encourage corporate Australia to play its part.

Entitled Business Against Domestic Violence, the in itia tive recognises that employers have ways of reaching people that Governments, churches and charities cannot.

Business w ill be encouraged to contribute top level leadership, develop policies finking the workplace to services addressing domestic violence, or donate to public benevolence projects.

To provide an incentive for organisations to become involved in this initiative, the Government has decided to amend the income tax law to allow tax deductions for gifts of the value of $2 or more.

The initiative w ill be co-chaired by Robert Champion de Crespigny of Normandy Mining, Paula Gerber, a partner in the law firm Haddock Lonie and Chisholm, and Anne Badger of Melbourne Grammar School.

In NSW alone it is estimated that domestic violence costs the community $1.5 billion annually through medical expenses, legal costs, corrective services, lost productivity and forgone income.

While ha lf of this is borne by victims, an estimated $400 m illion is paid by Governments through services such as sole parent pensions.

The remaining b ill is carried by business themselves, as raised anxiety levels reduce productivity rates or offenders and victims stay away from work altogether.

Already many large Australian companies operate alcohol and drug programmes but more can be done.

The Commonwealth and State Governments spend $226 m illion annually on crisis services for the victims of domestic violence, including a $25 m illion programme announced last Friday to find new ways of preventing the cycle of violence infecting a new generation of abusers.

I am proud to be the patron of this initiative because domestic violence has the capacity to destroy families, now and in the next generation.

12 November, 1997