More than $3 million to address family violence in Alice Springs
The Australian and Northern Territory Governments will invest more than $3 million in a pilot project to reduce family violence and help make homes, families and communities in Alice Springs safer.
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, Northern Territory Minister for Central Australia, Karl Hampton and Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon today announced the funding as part of the Alice Springs Transformation Plan.
“Too many Indigenous people still live in circumstances that are compromised by violence,” Ms Macklin said.
“In 2010, Northern Territory Department of Justice crime statistics showed that family violence made up 56 per cent of assaults in Alice Springs. Indigenous women accounted for 56 per cent of all assault victims.
“This is unacceptable. All Australians should be able to lead lives that are safe and free from violence.”
The three-year pilot will develop an integrated approach to family violence by linking government and local agencies together, including the Alice Springs Women’s Shelter, National Association of Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Tangentyere Council, Central Australia Aboriginal Congress, local legal services and the NPY Women’s Council.
“The safety of women and children is our number one priority. This project will help to keep women and children safe and promote behavioural change for offenders,” Ms Macklin said.
The project will teach young people about respectful relationships and introduce a new Family Safety Framework allowing agencies to work together to make women safer and give coordinated support to women and children at risk of violence.
It will also provide additional support services at court to prioritise family safety, increase offender accountability and promote behaviour change among offenders.
Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton said the project would allow government and non-government services to work together to improve peoples’ lives.
“The establishment of a best practice family violence men’s behaviour change program and increased efforts to provide violence prevention programs that target young people are important parts of this holistic and integrated approach to reducing family violence,” he said.
Mr Hampton said the funding includes seven new positions in Government and local agencies: a Family Violence Project Manager, Victims Advocacy and Support worker, Defendant Assessment and Referral worker, Behaviour Change Program Facilitators and cultural and clinical consultants.
Federal Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon said the pilot program demonstrated the importance of government and community working together to address family violence.
“Family violence affects too many homes and devastates too many lives,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of communities, especially for women and children, continues to be a high priority for government but it’s a role and responsibility shared at the community level.”
Funding for the program is being provided under the $150 million Alice Springs Transformation Plan, a joint initiative of the Australian and Northern Territory Governments to transform the town camps, reduce overcrowding and improve services throughout the town.