$30.9 million boost to tackle family and domestic violence

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk announced the WA Government will commit an additional $30.9 million in the 2019-20 State Budget to address family and domestic violence.

The WA Government’s investment in a suite of initiatives includes:

  • $11.7 million to establish two new Family and Domestic Violence One Stop Hubs;
  • $15.5 million for an electronic monitoring trial to monitor high-risk domestic violence offenders;
  • $2.1 million to deliver training to frontline police officers and to develop a family violence Code of Practice;
  • $1.1 million of continued funding for the Kimberley Family Violence Service; and
  • $415,000 of continued funding for the Pets in Crisis program.

Two new Family and Domestic Violence One Stop Hubs will be established to provide integrated, wraparound services to make it easier for victims to get help sooner, fulfilling an election commitment.

The specialist hubs to be located in Mirrabooka and Kalgoorlie will bring together health, legal, housing and financial counselling services, with specialist domestic violence workers to support victims from diverse backgrounds. An integrated intake team will co-ordinate access to services to support improved safety and decision-making based on a holistic picture of the victim’s situation.

To be developed in consultation with key stakeholders, these hubs are expected to be established in 2020.

Western Australia has the second highest rate of reported physical and sexual violence perpetrated against women and this violence is most often perpetrated by partners, ex partners or a family member. The State’s Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams triaged around 50,000 incidents in 2018.

The WA Government’s Stopping Family and Domestic Violence Policy is focused on reducing the impact of domestic violence through a comprehensive package of initiatives that address victim safety, perpetrator accountability, a more responsive justice system and prevention and early intervention.

Delivering on two election commitments, victim safety will be strengthened with a $15.5 million investment towards an electronic monitoring trial for high-risk domestic violence offenders who have breached violence restraining orders; and $2.1 million of funding for the Western Australia Police Force to develop a family violence Code of Practice and training to frontline police officers.

A dedicated Family and Domestic Violence Monitoring Unit will be established in partnership with the Department of Justice and WA Police Force. This will provide 24-hour electronic monitoring of family violence offenders who have breached violence restraining orders in the community, including an additional 10 police officers for the police contribution to the unit.

The Code of Practice will support the WA Police Force to investigate family and domestic violence incidents and include specific policies for the investigation of offence reports involving indigenous victims.

Continued funding has also been allocated to the RSPCA for the Pets in Crisis program and the Kimberley Family Violence Service.

Source: WA Government