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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?

As at March 2021 $2.424 million has been allocated as follows:

  • Increasing capability to respond to domestic and family violence – $250,000
    Training and support for healthcare professionals and other frontline workers to improve their ability to recognise domestic and family violence, assess risk and refer people to help.
  • Responses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities – $130,000
    Support for key initiatives that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including responses to the We Don’t Shoot Our Wounded report.
  • Client support fund – $200,000
    Funding to increase the capacity of OneLink and specialist homelessness service providers to support current and new clients who are at risk of homelessness due to COVID-19. Funding supported an additional 66 clients over a 6 month period.
  • Victim support counselling and case management – $260,000
    Additional Victims of Crime Commissioner counsellors to meet the increased need for counselling, case coordination and advocacy services for women experiencing domestic and family violence.
  • Temporary care of children – $70,000
    A worker to provide care to children in their current living environment if a woman requires hospitalisation or isolation.
  • Support for young people – $215,000
    Group sessions for young people affected by family violence to receive support from their peers and professional counsellors.
  • Support for frontline service delivery – $547,000
    Support for frontline services to meet the increased demand and complexity of domestic and family violence cases during COVID-19. Funding provided to:

    • Domestic Violence Crisis Service
    • Relationships Australia
    • Toora Women
    • YWCA
    • Beryl Women
    • Doris Women’s Refuge
    • EveryMan
    • Women’s Legal Centre
  • Integrated risk assessment, case management and coordination – $668,000
    A trial of an integrated approach to risk assessment and intensive case management. The Safety Action pilot program expands the current Family Violence Intervention Program case tracking model.
  • Perpetrator standards and information sharing – $84,000
    Development of guidelines for working with domestic and family violence perpetrators and options for information sharing across the sector to improve and integrate services.

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. We know the pandemic will leave long-term impacts, and we commit to continue monitoring and working with the sector in responding to the impacts of domestic and family violence in our community.

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