Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Expanding domestic violence response training for frontline workers

Frontline workers will be offered training to help identify and respond to perpetrators of domestic violence while emergency response personnel and volunteers will receive education to help victims of natural disasters who may be experiencing abuse. 
The Morrison Government is expanding and developing new domestic violence response training for frontline workers and volunteers under our record investment to prevent and respond to domestic, family and sexual violence.
The Morrison Government is providing $25.9 million to continue the successful DV-alert program delivered by Lifeline and establish a new stream -‘Recognising, Responding to and Referring Men who Use Violence’. 
The Government has also committed $3.7 million to develop and deliver a new training package for frontline responders in the emergency management and recovery sector.  
Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said workforce education was critical in our endeavour to create the cultural change needed to end and prevent violence against women and their children.
“As individuals we all have a role to play to put a stop to violence against women and their children,” Minister Ruston said.
“Training and educating people in frontline services is vital to give them the tools and confidence to be able to handle these really difficult situations.”
Lifeline’s new training stream specifically targets the complexities of dealing directly with men who use or are suspected to use violence and builds on the DV-alert initiative.
The funding will allow about 1000 GPs, healthcare workers, childcare workers, legal services, local councils and other workers involved in delivering services to families the tools and confidence to identify signs, react and ultimately prevent family, domestic and sexual violence.
The new training package for frontline responders in the emergency management and recovery sector will help personnel and volunteers support vulnerable Australians who may not be in a position to identify or react when they are experiencing family violence.  
It responds to a key recommendation of the Natural Disaster Royal Commission which found natural disasters are often linked with increased rates of family violence, either increasing the intensity of existing violence or triggering new violent behaviours.
“Sadly, the evidence shows the rates of family and domestic violence increase during natural disasters and other crises,” Minister Ruston said. 
“This training for first responders such as firefighters, St Johns, Red Cross and other volunteers will strengthen disaster recovery for our community and help workers identify violence and provide women and children with appropriate support and referrals.”
DV-alert workshops in all streams are available for enrolment through the DV-alert website –