$12 Million boost to domestic violence services

Nearly 100 frontline domestic violence services will receive a funding boost this week to support more victim-survivors, as a campaign to eradicate violence against women kicks off around the globe.

Recipients of the COVID-19 Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Grant program, funded by the Federal Government and allocated by the NSW Government, were announced today with services awarded a share in more than $12 million to help victim-survivors.

NSW Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said grants will support a range of efforts including expanding regional counselling, men’s behaviour change programs and crisis accommodation.

“Thank you to our dedicated frontline workers for their tireless efforts – they are doing a tough job under increasing demands as a result of COVID-19,” Mr Speakman said.

“We know victim-survivors often contact frontline services before they go to the police. This funding will help protect those women and children, and ultimately save lives.”

Today’s announcement marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an annual international awareness campaign that begins on 25 November – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – and runs until World Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston congratulated the diverse range of service providers working to help people at-risk of abuse during the pandemic and recovery period.

“These grants delivered under the Federal Government’s $150 million Domestic Violence Support Package will help vulnerable people across the state, particularly Indigenous, multicultural and regional women who face additional barriers when escaping unsafe homes,” Senator Ruston said.

“Among the grant recipients is a disability-focused program to provide specialist casework assistance for perpetrators with cognitive impairment to help reduce their reoffending.

“Two grant recipients will support women to care for their pet when they escape violence because sadly we know that perpetrators often threaten companion animals to intimidate victims.”

Today’s announcement follows the $21 million investment in frontline domestic violence support services jointly funded by the Federal and NSW Governments in May.

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