(Herald Sun, 19 March 2015)
HOW much would you be willing for a government to pay if you knew more resources could prevent a family violence homicide? If you knew that — like healthcare — greater investment at the “front end” could prevent the escalation of violence and, ultimately, a tragic and devastating death?
How much would you be prepared for a government to pay if you knew that, in fact, that investment would result in significant returns — if, as a program in the UK has recently shown, an intervention that interrupts the cycle of violence and prevents even one family violence-related death will pay for the cost of the program for several years running?
How much would you be prepared to pay if you knew that we could step in early and change at least some violent behaviour, rather than wait until it escalates and fund the expense of incarceration instead?
Governments all around the world know only too well the benefits of early intervention — of addressing the source of a problem, of stopping it from escalating, of turning it around.
What’s more, governments also understand the ongoing costs of family violence — a scourge that, left unaddressed, means we are looking down the barrel of a huge perpetual drain on our social and economic wellbeing.