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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 7923

Mr Abbott asked the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, in writing, on 12 May 2009:

(1)   Is she aware that her department conducted a phone survey on domestic violence during March 2009.

(2)   How many people were surveyed.

(3)   How many departmental staff were involved in conducting this survey.

(4)   If the survey was not conducted by departmental staff, what sum of money did this survey cost the Government.

(5)   What questions did the survey put to respondents.

(6)   What was the purpose of the survey.

(7)   Will another survey of this type be conducted; if so, will it ask whether it is acceptable for a person to criticize another person for domestic meals.

Ms Macklin (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   Yes. At the White Ribbon Foundation’s White Tie Dinner held in September 2008, the Prime Minister publicly announced $2 million would be invested to benchmark community attitudes on domestic violence and sexual assault. The household phone survey was a key component of this project.

(2)   A total of 12,900 people nationally - comprising a general national community survey of 10,000 people; 2,500 persons from selected Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds; and 400 Indigenous Australians.

(3)   None. The survey is being conducted by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation in association with the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Social Research Centre.

(4)   As at 20 June 2009, $1.8million of the allocated $2million had been paid. The balance is payable on completion of the survey later this year.

(5)   The survey includes modules that assess community attitudes of what constitutes domestic violence, sexual violence and sexual harassment; understanding of the consequences or harm caused by violence; whether violence is ever excusable; myths and beliefs about victims and perpetrators; and impacts of previous awareness campaigns.

(6)   To gauge contemporary Australian attitudes on domestic violence and sexual assault to provide a baseline from which to measure the outcomes of future national anti-violence initiatives and improve the Government’s understanding of strategies that are effective in reducing violence.

(7)   Because the 2009 survey is intended to provide a benchmark, it will be necessary to repeat it at subsequent intervals to measure attitudinal change to violence against women and their children. At this stage no date has been set for the next survey. The current survey asks no questions about domestic meals and it is not anticipated that such a question would be asked in any future survey.