NSW Delivers $60 Million for Domestic Violence Prevention
14 October 2015 at 3:35 pm
The NSW Government has announced a $60 million package to target perpetrators and those who have experienced domestic and family violence – a move welcomed by the Not for Profit sector.
Last month Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled a $100 million Federal package to combat domestic and family violence in one of his first announcements in the top job.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said the state package included new Police Domestic Violence High-Risk Offender Teams to target perpetrators and reduce the rate of reoffending, as well as Suspect Target Management Plans that would put offenders on notice.
The package also included mandated behaviour change programs to make perpetrators address their behaviour.
In addition, the Premier said the package would increase crisis accommodation support as well as introduce Australia’s first Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, which discloses information about a perpetrator’s violent history and provide a stronger response to sexual assault.
“Domestic violence is a plague that needs to be eradicated across this state and country. No one should have to live in fear in their own home,” Baird said.
“We need to target these offenders to change their attitudes and behaviours to make a lasting change.
“One of my priorities is to reduce the rate of domestic and family violence re-offending within 12 months by five per cent by 2019.”
The Premier said the package was the first stage of the NSW Government’s increased investment into domestic violence.
“The Government is currently working with the non-government sector to analyse service gaps through a DFV [Domestic and Family Violence] Blueprint. This work will be completed in 2016,” he said.
White Ribbon Australia, a male-led movement to stop violence against women, commended the funding announcement.
“It is critical that any domestic violence package is complimented by primary prevention programs and initiatives, so that the behaviours and attitudes that allow violence against women to occur in the first place are acknowledged and addressed in society,” CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies, said.
“Engaging men and providing them with the tools to learn about the issue and take effective action encourages men to assume responsibility and ultimately change their behaviour before violence occurs.
“Recognition of the effective programs that are in place driving this change should also receive the full support of Government; it’s where social change stands its greatest chance of success.”
Welfare peak body NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) said the State Government’s commitment is an important step toward reducing the current crisis levels experienced in the community.
NCOSS CEO, Tracy Howe, said women’s safety was at the core of the package and it was important to see a spread of funding across a range of much needed areas of women’s services.
“Violence against women is at crisis levels in our communities. Last year in New South Wales, 43.9 per cent of assaults were family and domestic violence assaults and one in six Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner,” Howe said.
“We need a well-resourced range of services to ensure women and children have choice and are well supported when they experience violence. This is a good step in the right direction.
Howe said she also welcomed a clear focus on perpetrators in the package.
“While it is crucial to ensure women experiencing domestic and family violence and sexual assault are well supported, initiatives to change perpetrator behaviour and hold them to account has to be part of an effective strategy to address the issue.”