The NSW Government will provide $12.8 million to help victims seek support during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic to better protect women and children across the state.
Funding for additional support services include:
Frontline support services
- additional funding for frontline specialist domestic violence services to respond to cases
- increasing services available at the 24/7 NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 656 463)
- increasing staff capacity at Legal Aid NSW Domestic Violence Line
- increasing support at the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services
- targeting specialised resourcing to vulnerable groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, people with disability, multicultural communities, LGBTIQ communities and women living in rural and remote areas.
Escaping violent homes
- funding to NSW’s 84 women’s refugees for additional staff, training and other support
- funding to allow companion animals to be accommodated
- six-month pop-up of safety homes in the Manly area for temporary and emergency accommodation for women and children.
Staying safe at home
- increasing duress alarm devices for victims to access as part of the Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) program
- improving services for SHLV clients
- temporary accommodation for perpetrators if removed from a property to ensure victims can remain safely at home.
Holding perpetrators to account
- funding boost for men’s behaviour change programs
- supporting No To Violence to expand training and support for frontline staff delivering programs across NSW
- funding for a mobile application to help perpetrators comply with Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs).
- extension of Toolbox Talks - educating workers in the construction and mining industries to identify and report abuse
- the rollout of a digital campaign to support victims and encourage communities to report abuse.
NSW Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said the pandemic has potentially increased the risk of abuse in already violent homes.
“Strict health orders in recent weeks have told people to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But domestic violence victims don’t have a safe home to begin with, so more have sought assistance and are presenting with more complex needs,” Mr Speakman said.
“Today’s package responds to a range of issues raised with the government to help protect women and children and ultimately to save lives.”
For more information and to see the range of domestic violence services available, visit NSW Communities & Justice - together against COVID-19.