Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New support for family violence victims in South Australia

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Tanya Pliberesek MP, Minister for Housing and Women
    Hon Jennifer Rankine MP, SA Minister for Housing
    Hon Gail Gago MLC, SA Minister for Status of Women

More support than ever before will be provided to victims of domestic violence in South Australia, under new plans announced by the Australian and South Australian Governments.

To help break the cycle of family violence 120 new safety houses for victims of domestic violence are being built in South Australia, under the Nation Building – Economic Stimulus Package.

In addition, the Australian Government is delivering new family violence prevention projects in a number of communities such as Port Augusta, Ceduna, Davenport, Mount Gambier and the NPY region.

The Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and the Federal Minister for Housing, Tanya Plibersek, joined with State Government Ministers Jennifer Rankine and Gail Gago to inspect homes under construction in Findon.

‘Domestic violence has a devastating affect on families and communities. It is our national responsibility to protect women and children,’ Minister Macklin said.

‘Safe places are important circuit breakers in the cycle of violence. That’s why we are providing 120 new safety houses across South Australia to help families affected by domestic violence.’

Minister Plibersek said the 120 new dwellings made up almost 10 per cent of the 1350 new homes to be built under the stimulus package.

‘We are investing in the protection of children and their families as it is everyone’s right to be safe and secure within their home and community,’ Ms Plibersek said.

Minister Rankine said residents would be offered a range of assistance, from practical services and support to therapeutic counselling.

‘One of the challenging but exciting new initiatives to come from the white paper on homelessness is funding for a program that aims to remove and relocate the perpetrator of Domestic Violence rather than have the victim and children forced to leave the family home,’ she said.

Minister Gago said simple support options can make a real difference in helping victims escape threatening situations or avoid further victimization.

‘These initiatives build on the South Australian Government’s new domestic violence legislation and anti-violence awareness campaign’.

The Australian Government is also providing almost $730,000 for the three Indigenous family violence prevention projects, including:

  • $310,000 to continue the successful Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunyatjara Family Violence Cross Border Project covering 24 communities in the NPY region. This perpetrator program has had a 70 per cent success rate in stopping reoffending;
  • $287,000 for the Australian Red Cross to establish a pilot program modelled on the successful Canadian Red Cross’ RespectED education programs. It will be adapted and trialled in partnership with Indigenous community organisations in communities including, Port Augusta, Davenport, Ceduna, Koonibba, Yalata, Oak Valley, Scotdesco and Tia Tuckier and the Lakeview centre – a transitional accommodation services which has clients from the APY lands;
  • $130,000 for TAFE SA to expand the successful Rekindling Indigenous Relationships in the Riverland project, which provides family violence counselling and education for victims of family violence. The program will be expanded into Mt Gambier and Ceduna.

‘We want to support innovative projects like these to educate victims and perpetrators about the choices they have in their day to day lives to reject violence,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘Nationally, Indigenous women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalized as a result of family violence than other Australian women – this is abhorrent.

‘Education, along with safe housing during times of crisis, gives victims of violence the space to choose a life with respect and dignity and a better future for their children.’