$230M boost for DV victims in one state

Prevention of Domestic Violence
NSW government injects $230 million into domestic violence support. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Tim Hunter.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has vowed to “do more” and apologised for the delay in the government’s $230m emergency funding in support services for domestic, family and sexual violence victim-survivors.

The package was guided by the expert advice of victim-survivors and leaders in the domestic family and sexual violence sector who engaged directly with the NSW Cabinet last week.

It includes $48m in funding to roll out the Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) program across NSW, giving women and children the support to stay safe in their homes after leaving a violent relationship.

The funding will also go towards the Integrated Domestic and Family Violence Service which helps victims navigate the services of government agencies and non-government organisations which include healthcare, child protection workers, housing providers and women’s refuges.

The program works with both victim-survivors who have left a relationship and those who remain, focusing on maximising safety for this group of women and their children.

The NSW government has promised to invest $230 million into domestic violence support. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Making the announcement on Monday morning, Mr Minns said the bolstered funding was a promise to do more.

“The call from the family members of those who’ve been killed at the hands of a violent partner. And the message from our government today is more needs to be done,” he said on Monday.

“We’re very sorry that this package was not released or announced earlier but we’re determined to learn from the mistakes that have been made by my government and previous governments, over the past decades.”

Another $45m has been set aside to improve bail laws and justice system responses to domestic violence with measures to be announced in coming weeks.

Mr Minns said the government was developing legislation and said the funding commitment would ensure its roll out “as soon as potential legislation passes”.

NSW Premier Chris Minn said this shows the government is listening to DV organisations, victim-survivors, and communities from across NSW to drive solutions. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Nearly $24m has also been allocated to specialist DV support workers within the justice system and $2m over four years to support the Domestic Violence Death Review Team which delivers robust research around risks factors, trends and impact of service delivery.

Another $48m has been promised to fund workers who support children accompanying their mothers to refuges. These specialist workers for young people support them, including with education, physical and mental health measures.

Chief executive of not-for-profit organisation The Benevolent Society, Lin Hatfield Dodds said ending domestic violence rates was a 10 to 15 year challenge, however Monday’s funding announcement was a positive step in bolstering services.

“Domestic violence isn’t going to stop in one year or five years. This is probably a 10 year, or 15 year (process) … if we’re serious about this,” she said.

“It’s starting from the social change we need to see across our communities, right through to investing in specialist services like what we run here from this site in Campbeltown.”

Attorney-General Michael Daley addresses the media in a press conference to make an announcement in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Prevention of Domestic Violence
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison speaks at a press conference following a special meeting of the NSW Cabinet on domestic and family violence. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Tim Hunter.

NSW’s funding package follows the federal government’s $925m investment into the Living Violence program, which includes a financial support payment of up to $5000 for people fleeing violence.

It comes as more than 30 women have allegedly been killed by men across Australia in the first four months of 2024, including the high-profile alleged murder of 28-year-old Molly Ticehurst, with police charging her ex-partner Daniel Billings.

The "No More! National Rally Against Violence march in Sydney from Belmore Park last weekend marching to Hyde Park. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Attorney-General Michael Daley said the state “needs a co-ordinated approach across multiple fronts to disrupt domestic violence – that is what this suite of funding initiatives is designed to achieve.”

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison said there was “no shying away from the horrendous statistics, and the tragic stories behind each one of those statistics”.

“What we need to focus on, and what we are committed to achieving, is appropriate, ongoing, and all-encompassing wraparound support for victim-survivors, as well as ensuring we learn from their experiences and do better for communities across NSW.”

Womensline: 1800 811 811
MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service 24hr helpline: 1800 RESPECT
Lifeline: 13 1144
Family Violence Crisis and Support Service: 1800 608 122
Emergency/Police: 000