$6.9 million to prioritise measures to help stop family and domestic violence

$6.9 million to prioritise measures to help stop family and domestic violence

The McGowan Government is prioritising measures to help reduce family and domestic violence and assist those affected.

The State Budget includes $4.3 million to implement the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme, an automated information-sharing platform to facilitate enforcement across States and Territories.

The McGowan Government passed legislation in November 2017 to enable family violence restraining orders and police orders to be automatically recognised and enforced across all Australian jurisdictions.

The NDVOS aims to improve victim safety and perpetrator accountability by removing the need to register family and domestic violence orders separately in each State and Territory.

The McGowan Labor Government will also invest about $850,000 per annum from 2019-20, in a residential program aimed at helping perpetrators of family and domestic violence change their behaviour.

The Communicare Breathing Space program provides men with three months of accommodation while they undertake a therapeutic program including group work, individual counselling and case management.

The residential program, which will have nine beds and a 24/7 service, will provide:

  • A program which supports learning, offers alternatives and assists men in understanding and taking responsibility for their violence and abuse;
  • Referrals and links to services that meet the needs of each individual participant; and
  • Extended support services, including counselling and assistance post completion of the program.

As well as the residential component, the program will focus on the safety of women and child victims through support, safety planning and linking to local services.

Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, Simone McGurk, said, “the McGowan Government is committed to strengthening efforts to reduce family and domestic violence.

“Many perpetrators of domestic violence are known to police, which means we are not intervening early enough to support men to change their violent and controlling behaviour.”

“Unless we intervene at the source of the problem, the same behaviours continue and the cycle is perpetuated.”

She said that Western Australia was in the unacceptable position of having the second highest rate of reported physical and sexual violence perpetrated against women in Australia, second only to the Northern Territory.

“To make headway on such a serious and complex issue, we are also focusing on prevention and early intervention as part of an overall program for stopping family and domestic violence in this State.”

For more 2018-19 State Budget information, visit http://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au