• JON WOLFE

Details of funding to boost domestic violence support

Domestic violence victim-survivors in the region will receive vital help available during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a share of more than $21 million invested to boost frontline services and other supports.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said one sad outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic was an increased the risk of abuse in already violent homes.

He said this package will be a great boost to locals impacted by domestic violence or provide help to protect women and children and ultimately to save lives.

Frontline support services

• Funding for frontline specialist domestic violence services to respond to increasing demand and complexity of cases;

• A boost for the 24/7 NSW Domestic Violence Line that provides crisis counselling and support referrals;

• Increasing staff at Legal Aid’s NSW Domestic Violence hotline, while bolstering legal information available online;

• More service capacity at the State’s Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services; and

• Resources for targeted responses to especially vulnerable groups like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, people with disability, multicultural communities, LGBTIQ communities and women living in rural and remote areas.

Escaping violent homes

• Access to more funding for the State’s 84 women’s refuges for additional staff, more training, and basic supports like food vouchers or safe phones for victims;

• Funding to allow companion animals to be accommodated in women’s refuges or animal shelters so women can leave violent homes without worrying their pet will be harmed; and

• A six-month ‘pop-up’ safe house in the Manly area to give highly vulnerable women and their children temporary and emergency accommodation.

Staying safe at home

• More duress alarm devices for victims to access if they’re remaining in their home as part of the Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) program;

• Improved access to services for SHLV clients; and

• Temporary accommodation for perpetrators if they’re removed from a property by police and have nowhere else to stay (or based on protection orders) so that victims can remain safely at home.

Holding perpetrators to account

• A boost in funding for men’s behaviour change programs to respond to heightened demand while adjusting their service delivery to work remotely, if required;

• More support for No To Violence to expand their training and support for frontline staff who deliver perpetrator programs across NSW; and

• Funding for an app that helps perpetrators understand and therefore comply with Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs).

Raising awareness

• Extension of Toolbox Talks – a program that educates and empowers thousands of workers in the construction and mining industries to identify and report abuse; and

• A digital campaign to support victims and encourage the community to report domestic violence.