30/04/2020 | Michelle Lensink MLC | Carolyn Power MP | Better Services

In a first for South Australia, the Marshall Liberal Government will fund a new, dedicated 24/7 men’s domestic violence hotline and support services in a bid to help stem violent behaviours and manage the expected increase in domestic, family and sexual violence incidents due to COVID-19.

A $2.4 million funding boost from the Federal Government has enabled the Marshall Liberal Government to fast-track new domestic violence initiatives.

The new, immediate measures include:

- $900,000 for the 24/7 Men’s Referral Line – for South Australian men to seek advice, support and help about their use of violence and to connect them with local DV services, OARS and Kornar Winmil Yunti (KWY).

- $1 million to DV services across SA for brokerage packages for people experiencing abuse and violence to be used to pay for immediate support including transport, safety upgrades to property, financial counselling and support for children.

- $250,000 to the Department of Human Services to lead a targeted, communications campaign with the aim of connecting more women with services.

- $250,000 to upskill the current and new workforce, for example training for existing helplines including Lifeline and Telecross Redi.

Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the funding boost to South Australia formed part of the Federal Government’s $150 million response package towards supporting Australians experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence due to the fallout from coronavirus.

“Health requirements for quarantine and self-isolation have had a particularly acute impact on women and children experiencing or at risk of abuse and domestic violence,” said Senator Ruston.

“That’s why the Morrison Government made boosting funding for frontline services a priority so they can continue to deliver vital support during these uncertain times.

“I congratulate the South Australian Government for moving so quickly to put in place innovative services including a men’s hotline to prevent abuse before it occurs.”

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the new DV measures formed part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s strong response to support women and children at this unprecedented time.

“Now, more than ever, I want women experiencing violence or abuse in their homes to know that they are supported and there is help available if they need it,” said Minister Lensink.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from domestic violence front-line services the need to fund additional help and support services for perpetrators, in order to stop the cycle of violence before it’s too late.

“For the first time in South Australia, the Marshall Liberal Government has committed funding to the Men’s Referral Service, a men’s domestic violence 24/7 hotline.

“The funding boost will allow us to support local domestic violence services including OARS and Kornar Winmil Yunti, who will deliver ongoing support, help and advice to men in the coming weeks and months.

“Providing support to perpetrator early intervention not only helps men but it aims to keep women and children safe too.”

Minister Lensink said the $1 million in brokerage funding would be provided to both metropolitan and regional DV services to pay for immediate support for people experiencing abuse and violence.

“We know that financial strain is often a barrier for many women leaving dangerous situations. Funding to help women leave, if it’s not safe for them to stay at home, will go some way towards helping them make the right and safest decisions.

“Our new COVID-19 DV measures start immediately. We aim to be agile and flexible with the dollars and will evaluate the demand and success of these initiatives going forward.

“At this time more than ever, I really urge the public to remain vigilant and for women to seek help, if they need it.”
Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Carolyn Power said DV services remain ready to help South Australian women and children in need.

“All critical DV services have remained available and will we continue to do whatever we can to ensure women feel safe and supported and know where to turn for help,” said Mrs Power.

In addition to the $2.4 million boost, the Marshall Liberal Government has committed a record $14 million towards a suite of measures to help women and children at risk.

“All our existing measures - including our crisis accommodation beds, the domestic violence disclosure scheme, the life-saving personal protection app and the 24/7 DV crisis line - continue and are available for anyone needing support or help.

“Every South Australian has a role to play in ending domestic, family and sexual violence, and it remains a Marshall Liberal Government priority.”

Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491 DV Crisis Line: 1800 800 098