The McGowan Government will deliver a $34.4 million funding boost for initiatives that support survivors of family and domestic violence (FDV) and hold perpetrators to account.
Allocated as part of the 2022-23 State Budget, the funding will improve the way FDV services are delivered in the suburbs and the regions, help to change the underlying attitudes that lead to domestic violence and protect those at risk.
The McGowan Government has made addressing FDV a priority – investing more than $150 million of new funding in family and domestic violence services since coming into Government.
The 2022-23 State Budget invests $14.7 million to create WA’s third one-stop FDV hub in Armadale, building on the success of similar FDV hubs in Mirrabooka and Kalgoorlie. Another FDV hub is also set to be established in the Kimberley.
Armadale was chosen as a location after extensive consultation, with the service tailored to meet the needs of the local community.
It will consist of a main space for women experiencing FDV, where they can seek help and support, which may include legal, financial and housing assistance, as well as counselling and alcohol and drug services.
There will be a smaller off-site area for male perpetrators and a specific youth service, which aims to address problematic behaviours early.
The Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams (FDVRT) – which rapidly respond with early, co-ordinated intervention following FDV incidents – will receive a $7.7 million funding boost for greater centralised support, resources and training.
A metro based Central Support and Co-ordination team will be established to bolster the capacity of local teams to respond to incidents faster, and to better understand perpetrators’ behaviour. The team will include officers from the Department of Justice working with perpetrators to manage risk and refer them to appropriate supports. An enhanced database will also be established to assist with risk assessment, sharing of information and case management.
Two programs aimed at tackling family violence in the Kimberley, will be extended for a further four years.
The Derby Family Violence Service, run by Anglicare WA in partnership with Emama Nguda Aboriginal Corporation, will respond to family violence in Derby and the Mowanjum Aboriginal Community.
The Change Em Ways Kimberley Project, an Aboriginal men’s behaviour change program run by Men’s Outreach Service Aboriginal Corporation (MOSAC), will continue to operate in the remote communities of Bidyadanga, Fitzroy Crossing and Balgo/Kutjungka.
This is further supported by Western Australia signing on to the Commonwealth’s National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses which has provided another $7.5 million to fund a range of initiatives in the family, domestic and sexual violence sector.
As stated by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
“Family and domestic violence is a problem in our towns, our cities and regions – it causes heartache for victims and their families and puts increased demands on health, welfare and housing services. The State Government’s message is clear – the abuse must stop.
“The McGowan Government is delivering a $34.4 million boost that will tackle the scourge of family and domestic violence, hold perpetrators to account and protect those at risk. This adds to our investment of more than $150 million in new funding since coming to government, demonstrating our commitment to combatting this issue across our State.
“Every community is different, and that’s why the State Government is investing in tailored FDV services where they are needed most – services that support victim survivors, challenge the underlying attitudes that lead to violence and make our communities safer.
“The McGowan Government will create WA’s third one-stop FDV hub in Armadale that will provide a range of legal, financial and counselling services for those experiencing FDV and give perpetrators the tools to break the cycle of violence.
“Crucially, the new hub brings together specialist services, so victim-survivors don’t need to retell their story and relive their trauma as they visit multiple agencies.
“We know that strategies to reduce family violence must include actions to engage perpetrators, so we are improving how we respond to family and domestic violence in our suburbs and regions.
“We are enhancing our Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams who work on the frontline to provide targeted early intervention when it’s needed most.
“We are extending two programs that tackle family violence in the Kimberley and in our remote communities. Importantly, these programs will trial new ways of working with Aboriginal communities, with a special focus on helping perpetrators to change their behaviour.
“Everyone should be able to live their life free from the threat of violence, and this funding reaffirms the State Government’s commitment to keeping victims of violence safe and holding perpetrators to account.”