Water Corporation renews support to women and children experiencing family and domestic violence

Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced that Water Corporation has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting women and children escaping family and domestic violence by renewing its partnership with the Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing (CWSW) until 2024.

Water Corporation will provide $150,000 over the next three years to the Funds for Freedom program, which provides grants of up to $750 to women for household items such as white goods to help establish a new home free from domestic violence.

The partnership is expected to support more than 250 women and children impacted by family and domestic violence each year.

Funds for Freedom is co-ordinated by the CWSW and aims to reduce financial stress and provide economic independence for women, at a time when they need it most.

Since partnering with CWSW in 2018, Water Corporation has supported 286 women and 489 children through the purchase of 101 washing machines, 124 fridges, 44 security devices and various other household items.

The McGowan Government is committed to supporting individuals experiencing domestic and family violence and in December 2020 introduced the Water Services Code of Practice (Family Violence) 2020.

The code outlines requirements for residential water service providers to support those impacted by family and domestic violence and includes the adoption of a family violence policy.

As of June 2021, all residential water service providers in Western Australia have a permanent family violence policy in place to better support and protect survivors of family violence, including those who may be experiencing financial hardship.

To find out more about the Water Services Code of Practice, visit the WA Government website. For further information about the Funds for Freedom program, visit the CWSW Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CWSW1 or contact the centre on 9420 7264.

“Women leaving an abusive relationship are often in an extremely vulnerable position and many are forced to flee with few material possessions.

“Water Corporation’s partnership with the CWSW helps reduce some of the financial pressure which can come when women begin a new life free from domestic and family violence.

“It’s part of a community-wide approach by the McGowan Government to addressing family and domestic violence and providing practical support when it’s needed most.

“Through the Water Services Code of Practice (Family Violence) 2020, residential water service providers in WA have improved staff training, financial hardship measures, and systems and processes to ensure customers experiencing family violence feel supported and protected when reaching out for assistance.” said Minister for Water Dave Kelly

“If we are going to significantly reduce family and domestic violence, preventing and responding to it must be a whole-of-community responsibility.

“The financial impact of family and domestic violence can have devastating impacts on the lives of survivors, potentially over many years.

“This initiative is a great example of a practical way that primary service providers can support those affected by violence to get back on their feet.

“The Water Corporation’s partnership with CWSW demonstrates how we can work together to ensure survivors are supported when they reach out to get help.” said Minister of Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Simone McGurk.