$300m in funding towards domestic violence

By Lauren Irvine

Just last month the New South Wales government announced that $300 million in budget funding would be allocated for victims of domestic violence.

The package advised that more than $50 million would be used to help women who are in a high risk category seek support and get specialised advice.

NSW Budget

NSW Budget Summary. By NSW Health

The funding package will be a step forward in tackling this nation-wide issue.

This issue is heavily felt here in the Central West, with Orange reporting domestic violence incidents at a rate twice as high as the state average.

[The Orange district is currently ranked second highest in Western NSW for incidents of domestic violence. The rates of reported assaults are twice that of the state average according to Housing Plus who were unable to comment. Victims are often forced to go to Bathurst and beyond to seek refuge, as there is currently no women’s only refuge in Orange. The community has been pushing for the refuge to be built however the NSW state budget allocated no specific funding towards one.

Lauren Irvine reports.]

By Lauren Irvine, Taneil Thornberry and April Stons

The state budget is targeting different areas of domestic violence, however no funding has been allocated for a women’s only refuge in Orange.

In December 2015, Housing Plus in Orange announced they were going to apply for a share of $20 million in state funding to build the refuge, however it wasn’t accepted.

Chief executive of Housing Plus, Karen Andrew said at the time of the application that the future was looking good.

“There’s a lot of money around at the moment for domestic violence but we just need to isolate some of that money for bricks and mortar. That’s the key in all of this, is the bricks and mortar money.”

“I’m just thrilled that the commitment is still there and we’re moving forward. So, the future is looking good for us.”

Due to the Going Home, Staying Home initiative launched a couple of years ago, Orange lost three of it’s dedicated housing facilities due to the merging of refuges and homelessness facilities.

“I was very concerned because that left us with no options in a community with a domestic violence rate which is twice the national average,” she said. “How soon will it be before someone dies in our community?”

Victims often have to go to Bathurst or Forbes and seek refuge there, as the housing crisis in Orange has worsened since the reform.

The city of Orange has domestic assault rates that are twice as high as the state average however there has been no funding allocated towards the building of a women’s only refuge, which as Lauren Irvine reports, is desperately needed.

[27-per-cent of homelessness in Orange New South Wales is due to domestic violence, according to local provider Housing Plus who were unavailable for comment. When the New South Wales state budget was announced earlier this year, some $300-million-dollars was allocated for victims of domestic violence. The city of Orange has domestic assault rates that are twice as high as the state average however there has been no funding allocated towards the building of a women’s only refuge, which as Lauren Irvine reports, is desperately needed.]

By Lauren Irvine, Taneil Thornberry and April Stons

The budget will however roll out the Safer Pathway program across NSW over the next four years, with a dedicated $53 million towards the program.

$20 million will be used to create a new Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund to aid in the prevention, early intervention and crisis responses, to support resources such as refuges and domestic violence counseling services.

$25 million will be put towards the Staying Home Leaving Violence reform to help women and children find a home where they feel safe.

$2.8 million will be spent on bettering Women’s Community Shelters while $13 million will go towards Victims Services.

A detailed breakdown of the budget can be found here.

 

Leave a Reply