Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Government calls for applications to establish new domestic violence telephone and online service

The Australian Government has invited eligible organisations to submit an Expression of Interest to establish the new domestic violence and sexual assault National 1800 and Online Service.

Following the release of Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, the Government will establish a telephone and online crisis service for anyone in Australia who has experienced, or is at risk of, sexual assault and/or domestic and family violence.

“The Australian Government is investing $12.5 million over four years to develop, establish and operate the service, as part of our plan to reduce violence against women,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The new service will offer specialised, experienced and qualified domestic violence and sexual assault crisis support and counselling.

“The service will make active referrals to follow-up services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

The new 1800 and online resource will be able to provide referrals to existing services in all States and Territories, link with other 1800 numbers and provide professional supervision and advice to staff in isolated and remote areas.

Sexual assault and domestic and family violence are among the most pervasive forms of violence and have serious and often devastating consequences for victims, their extended families and the community.

The Government is providing national leadership in reducing violence through the development of a National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women.

The Plan is being developed through the Council of Australian Governments and will be released in 2010.

As the Government progresses the establishment of the new 1800 and online service, it will continue to consult with key stakeholders.

The Government has set up a dedicated information hotline 1800 050 009 to provide information for organisations looking to submit a proposal.

Information is also available on the FaHCSIA website