Main image: NSW Attorney-General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman
Women and children experiencing domestic violence will have greater access to support under a $90 million funding boost for specialist services as part of the 2021-21 NSW State Budget.
The funding boost has been welcomed by specialist domestic violence organisations amid a rise in reports to victim support lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NSW Attorney-General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said the Government’s priorities include “helping children impacted by domestic violence, Aboriginal survivors, those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and victims from regional communities”.
Part of the Budget commitment includes $32.5 million over four years to expand the Staying Home Leaving Violence program, which supports women to remain safely in their homes and removes the perpetrator. This includes wraparound safety planning, like upgrading home security and installing CCTV, as well as help navigating the legal process and financial management assistance.
“Women are often forced to flee violent homes, and in doing so they’re cut off from housing, community supports, employment, and education for their children,” Speakman said.
“Perpetrators choose to inflict horrendous abuse on those they claim to love. It is they alone who should bear the brunt of re-locating if they refuse to change their behaviour.”
Delia Donovan, CEO of Domestic Violence NSW, said the funding boost would benefit services across the state.
“Frontline services have been advocating for greater support, particularly during COVID-19, to deliver crucial services to victim-survivors in communities across NSW, so we’re really pleased to see this critical funding commitment in the Budget,” Donovan said.
The NSW Government has also recently launched the Avow phone app, which will help perpetrators understand conditions of their apprehended domestic violence offenders (ADVOs), including information about appearing in court.