$7.9 million in grants awarded to family violence support services

Community service organisations that provide frontline supports to people experiencing or at risk of family and domestic violence will share in approximately $7.9 million in grants funded through the Commonwealth’s National Partnership Agreement on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Responses.

The 30 grants will be distributed to organisations that deliver the services required to respond to increased demand and complexity of need resulting from COVID-19, and ensure that help remains available when it is most needed.

The grants cover the breadth of family and domestic violence support services including outreach responses, counselling services, legal advice for victims, prevention initiatives, men’s behaviour change programs, crisis accommodation and connecting survivors with housing options.

The family and domestic violence sector peak organisations, the Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing Inc. and Stopping Family Violence, have received funding for training, capacity building initiatives and a program of workshops to help perpetrators to identify disrespectful behaviours and build better relationships.

Programs aimed at supporting the State’s most vulnerable, including children and young people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and people living in regional and remote parts of the State, are among the successful applications.

The Department of Communities received 75 applications through the expression of interest tender process and approved 30 grants that will enhance the community service sector’s capacity to meet service demand State-wide.

A quarter of the grants have been awarded to Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations (ACCOs), further building ACCOs’ capacity to deliver culturally safe supports, including services that are specifically targeted at regional and remote parts of the State.

The grants come on top of the more than $23 million in funding that the Western Australian Government invested through the WA Recovery Plan to help address family and domestic violence in the community.

The package of additional supports announced following the outbreak of COVID-19 last year includes 23 extra outreach workers for women’s refuges, 17 additional community sector team members to support victims after a police call-out, doubling the capacity of the Peel and Kwinana women’s refuges and a program for women who are residing at refuges to gain employment skills, access career training and attend workshops and short courses to support their pathways to employment.

The rollout of the grants is guided by the McGowan Government’s long-term plan for a Western Australia where all people live free from violence – Path to Safety: Western Australia’s Strategy to Reduce Family and Domestic Violence 2020-2030.

“COVID-19 has presented unique challenges for the agencies providing frontline services to combat family and domestic violence in Western Australia.

“Prioritising access to family and domestic violence services within the context of a pandemic response ensures that necessary supports are still available while continuing to effectively manage the risks of community spread of COVID-19.

“These service grants, awarded through the National Partnership Agreement, send a clear message that all levels of government are committed to supporting women, children and families experiencing or at risk of violence.

“Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations play a critical role in implementing specialised practices that ensure culturally sensitive supports are available in the areas that they are needed most, so I welcome the strong representation of ACCOs among the grant recipients.” said Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Simone McGurk.