The Albanese Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to make women’s safety a national priority and provide the focus and leadership needed to deliver change.
We are prioritising women’s safety through a range of new funding initiatives and delivering the first practical steps of the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032, released last week.
A total of 500 frontline service and community workers to support people experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence will be secured through $169.4 million over 4 years from 2022-23 in Commonwealth funding.
The crucial boost outlined in the Budget will provide much needed relief for frontline services around Australia, particularly for regional and remote providers.
The funding will see 200 new workers employed each year 2022-23 with a further 100 in 2024-25. Funds for these positions will be distributed to states and territories to support them to best target areas of need.
The Albanese Government will also prioritise new measures through $39.6 million in 2022-23 for additional support through the Escaping Violence Payment program, $25 million over five years for innovative responses to address the behaviour of perpetrators and $12.6 million over two years to extend the program assisting Temporary Visa Holders who are experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence.
A total of $104.4 million will be provided to continue and expand the role of Our Watch to broaden its reach in diverse populations including LGBTIQ+, disability and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the funding package would help to action the recently released National Plan.
“One woman dies in Australia every ten days – that is unacceptable. We know for every frontline worker employed, we can assist 80 women in need, so this funding provides a significant improvement for those experiencing violence,” Minister Rishworth said.
“This will support states and territories to give providers certainty in terms of long-term employment, which is critical for retaining staff and attracting new workers into these demanding service roles.
“The broad range of initiatives shows our commitment to our goal of ending violence against women and children in one generation.”
Minister for Women Senator Katy Gallagher said that improving gender equality is one of the biggest factors in reducing violence against women and children.
“We made a promise to deliver a national gender equality strategy that will map how we can improve outcomes for women by boosting their economic security and addressing structural barriers and inequalities that are a major driver behind gender-based violence,” Minister Gallagher said.
Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Justine Elliot said it is vital for women and children experiencing violence to know support will be there when they need it.
“We hope this will give people reassurance that when they make the decision to seek help they will receive the support they need,” Assistant Minister Elliot said.
“We will work with the states and territories to make sure the additional workers are distributed across Australia, because people should be able to access support when they need it, no matter where they live.”
In addition, funding is being provided for priorities across a range of portfolios to implement key priorities of the National Plan, including $83.5 million over six years for consent and respectful relationships education, $42.5 million to address sexual harassment at work implementing the recommendations of the Respect @ Work report and $3.4 million to support implementation of paid domestic family and domestic violence leave.
Together these commitments form the Government’s $1.7 billion investment in women and children’s safety that will support the National Plan.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.