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Additional Investment and Support for Domestic and Family Violence Women’s Safety

Responsible government

  • Australian Capital Territory

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment
    • 14 Deliver client-centred, trauma-informed, specialised and consistent support to victims and survivors of sexual violence.
  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 20 Improve access to suitable and safe accommodation within their communities for women who have experienced domestic, family and sexual violence.

What are we doing?

On 20 April 2020, the ACT Government announced $3 million in funding to support people facing homelessness or domestic and family violence arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding will allow the specialist homelessness sector and domestic and family violence services to expand their operational capacity and relieve the pressure of additional need during COVID-19 and throughout winter. This is in addition to funding received from the Commonwealth government under the National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Responses.

What have we achieved so far?

Under the funding package, funds have been allocated specifically through:

  • Domestic and Family Violence Fund:
    • $125,000 to boost Safer Families Assistance grants that help cover expenses associated with sustaining or re-establishing a family home. This could include mortgage or rental payments, furnishing, legal services and any other expenses.
    • $350,000 to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service to enhance direct crisis support for women, children and families impacted by domestic and family violence, including emergency accommodation.
    • $75,000 to the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre to assist supports for Canberrans impacted by sexual violence.
  • Client Support Fund:
    • $330,000 has been allocated to OneLink central intake to expand existing operations in response to increased demand on the homelessness services sector.
  • Rapid Response Fund:
    • A funding pool of $1 million in grant funding has been allocated to support community services organisations adapt and adopt to innovative and essential business changes, including staff safety fixtures and technology requirements to continue operations remotely.

What is next?

The ACT Government welcomes the funding investments being made under the National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Responses by the Commonwealth government to address the immediate and emerging needs for women’s safety during the pandemic.

The ACT Government will continue to work with local specialist service providers and community organisations to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on women’s safety. The ACT Government is also committed to continue working with all Commonwealth, state and territory governments to monitor and respond to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

What difference will we make?

In consultation with the ACT specialist DFV and homelessness sector, we have heard that they have experienced an increase in demand and/or increase in complexity of cases due to COVID-19. We have also heard that the impacts of COVID-19 is also resulting in an increase in risk of homelessness and concerns of women and children’s health and safety in short-term accommodation. This funding package is also delivered with the need for additional support in mind for families affected by domestic and family violence during the pandemic.

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