The Government must support frontline services to meet growing demand for domestic and family violence support over coming months.
Self-isolation during the COVID-19 crisis leaves many women and children at home with an abuser, isolated from their usual support networks, and at greater risk of violence.
Countries that have already imposed restrictions report a significant rise in domestic violence, and frontline services in Australia are already reporting an increase in demand.
The government has announced a public awareness campaign and additional funding for counselling and referral services.
However, this funding won’t help already stretched services supporting survivors of domestic and family violence to meet demand.
As referrals to housing, legal, health, counselling and crisis support services increase, significant additional funding is essential to make sure those living with or escaping violence can get the help they need.
The government must urgently introduce a support package that includes:
- An increase in crisis accommodation and housing support
- Additional funding for frontline domestic and family violence services to cope with increased demand and new technologies to deliver services while social distancing
- More support for Safe at Home programs
- Support for safe technology services, including WESNET’s Safe Phones program
- Coordinated policing and justice responses, including extra specialist support for Family Court matters and DVO / AVO matters
Governments must listen when our front line services say more funding will make a difference. No one should be turned away if they reach out for support and protection from domestic or family violence.
Add your name to call on the government to fund these critical frontline services.