Funding boost for domestic and family violence victim-survivors
More women and children experiencing domestic and family violence will be supported by $69.6 million in new funding, building on the NSW Government’s landmark $484.3 million investment in housing and related support services as part of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the funding will be invested in services that support victim-survivors of domestic and family violence, and minimise the trauma experienced during legal proceedings.
“We know that tragically, in this country, one in every six women continues to experience physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner,” Mr Perrottet said.
“No-one who has experienced violence and abuse in their own home should have to suffer alone in their time of need.”
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the NSW Government is committed to ensuring every person affected by domestic and family violence receives the support they need.
“A victim-survivor cannot move forward to a better future if they cannot find a pathway away from violence,” Mr Kean said.
“A safe home is the foundation of a good life. We owe it to all people who have suffered from domestic abuse to support them find a home that is free from violence and pursue legal action if they choose to.”
Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said that $43.6 million will be invested to expand and enhance the Safer Pathway program.
“The NSW Government is committed to a multi-agency approach to reducing the tragic impact of domestic and family violence, which is why we are making this commitment to further enhance the Safer Pathway program,” Mrs Ward said.
“The Safer Pathway program is all about assisting victim-survivors of domestic and family violence to access the services they need to escape violence and rebuild their lives.”
The Safer Pathway expansion announced today includes:
- $37.6 million over four years to deliver more case management services to victim-survivors with complex needs and to expand referral pathways into the system;
- $2.3 million over two years to enhance the central database used by NSW Police and other agencies to refer victim-survivors to Safer Pathway service providers for support.
- $3.7 million over four years to develop an online client management system for Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the NSW Government has also allocated $18 million in 2022-23 to expand Audio-Visual Link (AVL) facilities in approximately 50 NSW courts and tribunals, and $8 million over four years on Court Appointed Questioners to ensure domestic violence complainants are not directly cross-examined by self-represented defendants.
“AVL facilities allow domestic and family violence victim-survivors and other vulnerable people to give evidence remotely, to minimise any trauma associated with attending court,” Mr Speakman said.
“The NSW Government is funding Court Appointed Questioners, following new laws that prevent self-represented defendants personally cross examining domestic violence complainants.”