Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Funding boost for frontline family, domestic and sexual violence services

The $260 million National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence is being rolled out today with states and territories now having received their first payment to help address increased demand for frontline services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said the Morrison Government was absolutely committed to working collaboratively and cooperatively with our state and territory counterparts to ensure women and children have access to the support they need to live free of violence.

“We are providing $65 million in support to states and territories through the first payment under the National Partnership Agreement giving each jurisdiction flexibility to determine where the money is needed most,” Minister Ruston said.

“It is being used to bolster frontline worker numbers, expand crisis accommodation, sexual violence support, counselling and crisis case management, legal support, perpetrator interventions and men’s behaviour change programs.

“Funding is also being directed to help women and children who may have additional barriers to accessing support such as migrants, people with disability, LGBTIQA+ communities and women and children living in rural and remote communities.”

This National Partnership builds on the $130 million the Morrison Government provided to states and territories in 2020 which supported more than 470 family and domestic violence frontline organisations and delivered more than 580 activities and services.

“Under the $130 million National Partnership state and territory governments put in place innovative programs to boost emergency accommodation and adjust service delivery, particularly in light of requirements for self-isolation and social distancing,” Minister Ruston said.

“Among the projects funded there was also a focus on offering services to give women the skills and confidence to leave a violent relationship and live independently such as financial counselling programs and support navigating the legal and courts system which can often be daunting or too expensive.

“This funding also works alongside our Escaping Violence Payment which provides victim-survivors leaving a violent relationship up to $5000 in financial assistance to establish a home free from violence.”

The National Partnership Agreement is being funded under the Morrison Government’s record $1.1 billion investment into women’s safety and coincides with the next National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022 to 2032.

Most state and territories will have received their first payment under the agreement by today with the Northern Territory set to receive its first payment in February.