WDVCAS NSW has welcomed Labor’s $660 million commitment todayto addressing domestic and family violence.
At its core, WDVCAS NSW describes the package as including a greater emphasis on the provision of frontline services and the implementation of primary prevention initiatives at the local level.
WDVCAS NSW Director, Hayley Foster, says it’s the combination of these reforms which make for good policy. “What we know from working with thousands of women and their children escaping violence is that we need a streamlined, coordinated service system, where women are assisted in their safety, justice and wellbeing from woe-to-go, without being shuffled around”,says Foster. “This package, if implemented, will go a long way towards achieving that.”
Foster is really pleased to see an increased investment in both women’s emergency accommodation solutions and affordable accommodation and is particularly happy about the $60 mil previously announced for up to 20,000 flexible support packages for women escaping domestic violence.
“It’s really true that women are the experts of their own safety, and the safety of their children, and if we are able to adequately resource them to navigate the services they need, they will be able to go on to live lives free from violence,” says Foster.
On legal services, Foster has welcomed the much-needed investment for community legal services, family violence prevention legal services, domestic violence units and health justice partnerships, but notes solutions in family law are missing. “This injection of legal service funding is vital, but we cannot continue to leave domestic violence victims in regional areas languishing in the family law system without adequate advice and support,”says Foster. “Given we haven’t yet seen a comprehensive response from Labor on the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law System, we expect we will hear more from them on this when we have these conversations.”