The Territory Labor Government is putting victims first and making significant investments in key areas that will create safer communities and generational change.
Over the next three years, $22 million will be invested in domestic violence prevention, perpetrator intervention programs, and safety and recovery services for victims.
Rates of domestic, family and sexual violence in the Northern Territory are three times higher than any other Australian jurisdiction, with more than 60 reported incidents to Police every day.
This funding will help implement the first of three Action Plans of the Territory Labor Governments 10-year Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Reduction Framework 2018-2028.
The first Action Plan Changing Attitudes, Intervening Earlier and Responding Better (2018-21) will enable immediate investment in prevention and recovery services with a focus on addressing sexual violence.
From this funding, $6.49 million will be invested per year, for the next three years. Additionally, $2.74 million will be invested this financial year to enable the immediate implementation of high priority projects.
Projects and programs from the first Action Plan include:
The development of a first-ever sexual violence prevention and response strategy, including screening tools, practice development and professional development
Expansion of prevention funds to NGOs to support locally based prevention and early intervention projects and; an investment in perpetrator intervention programs
Equipping frontline workers to better respond to victims of domestic, family and sexual violence
Community education program aimed at changing community attitudes
Elder abuse referral and community education program
Implementation of the Domestic Family Violence Information Sharing Act, which was passed in Parliament in November 2018, including regulations, guidelines, workforce training and practice tools
Funding for the Action Plan implementation comes in addition to the $25 million annual budget for domestic, family and sexual violence services.
The Action Plan is attached.
As noted by Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield
Domestic, family, and sexual violence crosses all ages, cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds and has a devastating impact on families. For Territory women, violence is the single largest driver for homelessness and is a major factor in children entering the child protection and youth justice systems.
This is why the Territory Labor Government will continue to invest in generational change. If we dont invest now – the cost to the NT will be greater in the long term.
This funding will enable the hard-working domestic violence sector to deliver programs immediately, in the areas of prevention, perpetrator intervention, and safety and recovery for victims who have been affected by domestic violence. It will also ensure that perpetrators are held accountable and given access to programs that will change behaviour.
As noted by Executive Officer, Katherine Womens Crisis Centre, Jo Gamble
The Action Plan along with the commitment of funding is welcomed. It shows an acknowledgement and commitment from the Government of the significant problem that we have in the Territory with domestic/family and sexual violence.
The Action plan supports prevention and early intervention which will work towards reducing the large number of domestic, family and sexual violence incidents by supporting the people within the Territory to be safer, as well as for perpetrators to have the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions.