Federal Government acknowledges increased risk of domestic violence but package misses mark

The Federal Government has announced a $150 million package “to support Australians experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence due to the fallout from coronavirus”, but women’s safety and domestic violence sector representatives say the package misses the mark with key omissions….

Women’s Safety NSW welcomes the acknowledgement by the Federal Government that the COVID-19 crisis is impacting upon women and children’s safety in the home from violence and abuse.

“Whilst, it has taken some time for this acknowledgment to come”, says Hayley Foster, Women’s Safety NSW chief executive, “It is really pleasing that this has now happened and that the Federal Government is finally giving some attention to the issue”…

However, Women’s Safety NSW is concerned that the scale of the investment is not sufficient to ensure services will be available to families who need them during this time.

“We have already advised the Federal Government that we need to see a funding increase of $162 million for Safe At Home programs (to $180 million) in order for women and children escaping domestic and family violence to be afforded this option and $88 million for accredited men’s behaviour change programs”, says Foster. “So, you can see the $150 million commitment is not of the scale needed to even meet previous levels of demand, let alone the demand we are starting to see with the advent of the COVID-19 crisis.”

And then there are the glaring omissions…

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